Trouble in NBA paradise

Trouble in NBA paradise
March 22
01:00 2018

We are coming down the home stretch of the regular season in the NBA.  Many thought it was a foregone conclusion that the Golden State Warriors would repeat as champions, especially with all of the changes made to the Cavaliers at the trade deadline.  With the recent injuries to key players on the Warriors, the chances of the Houston Rockets look better and better every day.

First, there was the recurrence of ankle injuries for star point guard Stephen Curry.  Throughout the season he has been in and out of the line up with a series of injuries to his ankle.  That same ankle cost him millions of dollars in his last contract due to the teams concern of his history of injury early on in his career.

Shooting guard Klay Thompson also recently went down with a fractured right thumb that will sideline him for a couple of weeks.  Thompson sustained the injury in the second quarter of their game against the Minnesota Timberwolves.  He actually finished the game but his injury will affect the team’s performance in the games he will miss.

Even Draymond Green has missed some games recently with a sore shoulder.  The injury is not thought to be very serious but coupled with the other injuries, it seems more intense.

To make matters even worse, Kevin Durant will be out at least two weeks with a rib fracture he suffered last week.  That means all four of the Warrior All-Stars are dealing with ailments. 

The Warriors are a game and a half behind the Rockets but with all of these injuries, it’s hard to think they will overtake Houston for the top seed.

We all expected the Rockets to be good, but not this good.  Currently they sit atop the Western Conference and are in the drivers seat for home court advantage throughout the playoffs.  Chris Paul and James Harden have meshed perfectly with the remaining supporting cast.

As the season has progressed, more and more basketball aficionados are starting to lean toward the Rockets.  Houston head coach Mike D’Antoni has always been known for his offensive mind but he actually has the Rockets playing solid defense, which will bode well come playoff time.

Granted, these injuries are not season long injuries and all are slated to return prior to the playoffs starting.  But I have to question whether or not these injuries can linger or resurface at a later date.  An injury to any of the star players for the Warriors could spell doom for them against the Rockets in a matchup should both teams make it to the Western Conference finals as predicted.

If we need any evidence, lets take a look back at the 2016 NBA Finals when the Cavs matched up against the Warriors.  Steph Curry was out nearly two weeks during the playoffs due to a sprained MCL in his knee. 

Curry was able to return for the finals but everyone could tell he was not the same player.  While the Warriors were able to take a 3-1 lead in the series, the Cavs stormed back by winning three straight to close out the series winning their first championship in franchise history.  No matter what anyone says, a healthy Curry does not allow that to happen, which goes to show a lingering injury can have detrimental consequences.

For all fans’ sake, I am hoping injuries do not play a factor in the playoffs this year as we are all excited to see what the Rockets can do against the Warriors at full strength in a seven-game series. 

I think the Warriors need to have their full complement of players at their disposal in order to beat the Rockets.  Their chemistry and offensive efficiency are so potent anything less than their best will more than likely end in defeat for Golden State if you ask me.  So lets hope Durant, Curry, Green and Thompson will be at their best, because they’ll need to be.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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