April is the start of the best time of year in the NBA, as it is the beginning of the playoffs.
For 16 teams, it is an opportunity to achieve the lifelong dream of winning a world championship, and while the NBA playoffs don’t see as many upsets as other sports, upsets and the unexpected do happen.
But one thing no one wants to see is key injuries to stars and superstars, and unfortunately, the league has seen quite a few less than a full week into the playoffs.
– Ja Morant (hand) missed Game 2
– Kawhi Leonard (knee) missed Game 3 and is OUT for Game 4
– Tyler Herro (hand) missed half of Game 1 and is OUT 4-6 weeks
– Giannis Antetokounmpo (back) missed half of Game 1, Game 2, QUESTIONABLE for Game 3
– Joel Embiid (knee) is OUT for Game 4…
— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) April 22, 2023
Ja Morant, the face of the Memphis Grizzlies and one of the game’s most explosive players, missed Game 2 of their first-round series with a right hand injury, yet they were able to win without him.
Kawhi Leonard was out for the Los Angeles Clippers in their Game 3 loss to the Phoenix Suns, and it was announced on Friday that he will miss Game 4 of the series, which will take place on Saturday.
The Clippers already trail the series 2-1, and they will be in loads of trouble without him, as well as without Paul George, who has already been out for the entire series with a leg injury.
Giannis Antetokounmpo went out of Game 1 between the Milwaukee Bucks and Miami Heat early due to a back injury, and he missed Game 2.
The Bucks evened the series without him, but he is currently listed as questionable for Game 3.
Joel Embiid, meanwhile, has a sprained knee and will miss Game 4 between the Philadelphia 76ers and Brooklyn Nets.
Many feel there have been more injuries to prominent players in recent years, and that such injuries, as well as load management, have hurt the quality of the product the NBA has to offer.
It’s a shame, as the league has been in a new golden age for over the last decade.