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Injuries have shaped the 2013 NBA playoffs

Injuries have shaped the 2013 NBA playoffs

by droth droth 5/2/13
Things are getting crazy in the NBA playoffs.  Yesterday, two favorites lost potential close out games at home and many teams are scrambling to make adjustments in a hurry.  From Derrick Rose to Russell Westbrook, injuries have been at the core of this year's NBA Playoff narrative and have created a lot of this playoff madness.

Obviously injuries are always a factor in the playoffs after a long regular season.  Just last year,  Chris Bosh's abdominal injury almost did the Heat in and the Bulls were essentially eliminated when Derrick Rose went down.   But this year, more than any other in recent memory, injuries have been the story.

Here are some of the current injury situations around the league:  Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker are still not 100%, Dwyane Wade missed a game, Chris Paul is playing with a hurt thumb, Kenneth Farried and Stephen Curry had some ankle issues and Andrew Bogut isn't completely healthy.  These sound like typical stories come playoff time.  But this year is unique in the amount of significant injuries to star players and the number of series that are being shaped by these injuries. 

Injuries have shaped the 2013 NBA playoffs PhotoWestbrook, Rose, Rondo, Bryant, Nash, Lee, Gallinari, Lin, Granger, Stoudemire, and Griffin are some of the big names that have missed time in the playoffs.  A few of them missed ample time during the season while others seem to be dropping like flies lately.

In more than half of first round matchups, the ability or inability of a team to adjust to the loss of a superstar has become the primary story line in the series and if some of these injuries hadn't happened, the playoffs would look very different.

Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash probably wouldn't have led the Lakers to an upset, but it would have been more competitive.  The  Rockets would be eliminated by now if Westbrook was playing and the Bulls would have been a top-3 seed and serious contender with Derrick Rose.  The Knicks might not have made their late-season run if Amare was playing and the Celtics are a completely different team with Rondo at the helm.  And, as we saw in the last Grizzlies-Clippers game, LA has no answer for the Memphis bigs if Blake is unable to play.

And in pretty much every series, injuries have given other players opportunities to shine on a big stage that they otherwise wouldn't have had.

Steph Curry has emerged as a the best shooter in the universe, Nate Robinson is showing the league that he can carry a team from time to time, Paul George has declared himself an up-and-coming star in Danny Granger's absence, and Patrick Beverley is making a name for himself without Jeremy Lin on the floor.

But the biggest injury story is in Oklahoma City.  Kevin Durant was supposed to channel his inner Melo and scoreInjuries have shaped the 2013 NBA playoffs Photo 45 a game.  Initially it looked like  that was going to happen but he's come back to earth and now the Rockets look like they actually have a chance to knock off the defending Western Conference champs.  

The sheer numbers of injured stars in this year's playoffs is astonishing.  Seven teams are dealing with injuries to a player that made up at least 18% of their 2012-13 salary and 10 of the 16 playoff teams are playing without All-Star caliber players.  

This year is an anomaly.  Every year every team has injuries, but these aren't just any old, end of the year injury situations.  These are contending teams and star players whose injuries have totally reshaped the NBA landscape this season.  The Heat are still the favorites -- that hasn't changed -- but pretty much everything else has due to injuries.

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Which injury has had the biggest impact on the 2013 NBA Playoffs
Read the Article: Injuries have shaped the 2013 NBA playoffs

Some injuries have hurt the team all year, some are forcing teams to adjust right now, while others have given other players an opportunity to shine.  Which injury do you think has done the most to shape this year's playoffs?
| Closed on 06/01/13 at 05:00PM
FanIQ Pts? No | NBA | Multiple Choice Opinion Poll
Teams:  Kobe Bryant | Derrick Rose | Oklahoma City Thunder | Los Angeles Lakers  | Chicago Bulls | Golden State Warriors | New York Knicks
Players:  Rajon Rondo | David Lee | Amare Stoudemire | Russell Westbrook
Tagged as:   2013 NBA Playoffs
Team Breakout:
14 Fans 
29%a. Kobe Bryant
21%b. Russell Westbrook
0%c. Derrick Rose
14%d. Rajon Rondo
0%e. Amare Stoudemire
0%f. David Lee
0%g. Other

  
4 Comments | Sorted by Most Recent First | Red = You Disagreed
Vote for your favorite comments. Fans decide the Top Comment (3+ votes) and also hide poor quality comments (4+ votes).
#1 | 451 days ago

OKC wouldn't have lost game 2 if Westbrook was in the game, they were the leading contender to win the Western Conference, but now it looks doubtful without Russell's piece to the puzzle.
Russell Westbrook  
#2 | 435 days ago

La. Kobe sin gle handedly willed them to a playoff birth. No way would he of been swept like LA got swept/ 
Kobe Bryant  
#3 | 430 days ago

Kobe Bryant's!
Kobe Bryant  
#4 | 430 days ago

heart
Kobe Bryant  

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