Like it or not, injuries play a major role in the power balance of the NBA. The super teams of the league know this well. The Lakers and Nets have kept their superstars off the court more often than on it, nursing their injuries to ensure full health by the playoffs. In this COVID-compressed season, injuries have been even more impactful than usual as players take on more games with less rest, a combo that can often lead to devastating outcomes. With that in mind, I’ve highlighted a few of the most impactful recent injury situations to watch as we gear up for the NBA playoffs.
The play-in has made playoff basketball more than feasible for a number of teams. Twenty teams will play meaningful, do-or-die basketball in May. It’s the exact wrinkle we needed to counteract the weirdness of a season shortened by COVID-19. It means the number of teams waving the white flag and opting to tank is incredibly small, amounting to only three or so per conference. It will make this final stretch of the season as entertaining, if not more so, than the playoffs themselves.
A couple of weeks ago, I looked at what the NBA’s Western Conference could look like five years down the road. This week, I plan to do the same for the East, an admittedly far more difficult task. The talent distribution is more lopsided, and far more teams are in the uncertain phases of long-winded rebuilds. However, there are still plenty of franchises with bright, sustainable futures on the horizon. Let’s take a look at them now.
I have gathered my four favorite statistical highlights as we near the midpoint of the season and present them alongside exactly why I believe these players and statistics are more significant than just a few names and decimals.
What young players, draft assets or bona fide superstars does each franchise have? Is a franchise so stable organizationally that it can contend with any competent roster? After careful consideration, I give you my Western Conference playoff picture in five years.
Waldron will look to draw from his diverse experiences in many different areas of the game to take Seattle’s already explosive offense over the top in 2021.
If I tried to count the number of fiascos, scandals, controversies or near-heart attacks in sports this year, I’d be here all day. Today, I instead wish to look forward to 2021, a year that promises to still be difficult but with a markedly greater sense of hope.
Christmas belongs completely to basketball. Whatever your family’s preference may be, you’ve likely caught a glimpse of one of these marquee games at a holiday gathering. For some, it’s background noise for prepping the turkey. For others, it’s an intensive three hour-plus ritual, orchestrated to the minute.
Read Aiden Herrod's own knowledge and conventional industry wisdom alike to deliver to you the ultimate guide to winning your leagues as we move past the halfway point of the NFL season into weeks which dictate the playoffs for fantasy leagues.