Is Lockout-Shortened NBA Season Leading To More Player Injuries During The Playoffs?
Injuries in the NBA Playoffs "always garner great attention, but it has been amplified this year, coming off the lockout-shortened, compressed regular season," according to Jeff Zillgitt of USA TODAY. Although doctors are "slow to make a direct link between the serious injuries piling up and the wear and tear of playing 66 games in 124 days, even NBA Commissioner David Stern backed off his initial position that there was no connection." What happens during the rest of the playoffs "could make this season memorable in ways the league had not envisioned." Heat F Chris Bosh, who strained an abdominal muscle during Sunday's win over the Pacers, is "out indefinitely" as the second round has just begun. Zillgitt notes every team at this time of year "gets hit with injuries." But the injured list, from the "battle of attrition that began April 28 with the playoff openers, is especially dense." Bulls G Derrick Rose, Knicks Gs Iman Shumpert and Baron Davis "were lost for the season with knee injuries in playoff games." Bulls F Joakim Noah, Clippers G Mo Williams and Thunder C Kendrick Perkins have also been limited by injuries during the playoffs. In addition, the injuries have had "significant impact on USA Basketball's potential roster for this summer's London Olympics." Rose and Magic C Dwight Howard "are out," as are Trail Blazers F LaMarcus Aldridge and Clippers G Chauncey Billups. Now Bosh's "availability is in question" (USA TODAY, 5/15). In L.A., Elliott Teaford asks of the injuries, "Is the lockout-compressed schedule to blame?" Lakers coach Mike Brown said yesterday, "I probably shouldn't say this because I'm not a doctor and I don't know, but you'd have to think so. Some of the injuries that have happened to these high-caliber athletes, running down the floor or jumping in their air or getting back in transition defense without getting touched, you know? Rose makes that play a million times a season" (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 5/15).