In a perfect scenario, and as fans this is the world teams are expected to live in, every NBA team that makes the playoffs will enter the postseason 100 percent healthy, strong and spend the duration in tact. We know that rarely happens.
Here are five NBA injuries that might affect the playoffs:
5. Joel Embiid — Philadelphia 76ers
Embiid going down did not affect the NBA playoff picture in any way, but it does make picking a Rookie of the Year a little difficult. However, it was good to see the talent coming through for a young man who had been injured since before arriving to the league. He was making a name for himself on both ends of the floor before discovering a meniscus tear in his left knee. It stinks for Philly fans because they still don’t get to see the bright light at the end of the tunnel because Ben Simmons will also have been out for this entire season. These guys make it really difficult to ‘trust the process.’
4. Jabari Parker — Milwaukee Bucks
The Bucks were seen as a dangerous team that most others wouldn’t want to see in the playoffs because of the matchup problems. Even though Khris Middleton came back around the same time that Parker went down with his ACL injury, the Bucks still have not been the same. Even if they manage to slide into the playoffs, they’re not viewed as the threat that they once were.
3. Kevin Love — Cleveland Cavaliers
It looked like it was all going to fall on the shoulders of LeBron James when Kevin Love went down with a knee injury. The Eastern Conference is weak enough where the Cavs could still take the No. 1 spot, especially now that Kyle Lowry is out for the Toronto Raptors with a wrist injury. Cleveland also brought in the help of Daron Williams and Andrew Bogut to get a deeper roster in its push for a repeat.
2. Kyle Lowry — Toronto Raptors
Kyle Lowry broke his right wrist, which could be trouble for the Raptors. Toronto scored some extra firepower before the trade deadline by grabbing Serge Ibaka from the Orlando Magic, but without their primary ball handler and floor general, they may be in danger of sliding down the ladder in the East and forcing them to face the Cleveland Cavaliers before they want to.
1. Kevin Durant — Golden State Warriors
Durant recently went down with an MCL injury that will have him out at least until the start of the playoffs. The Warriors may not need him for the remainder of the regular season, but if he’s not ready come playoff time, it’s going to hurt them. They sacrificed a lot of depth to get KD, and that roster deficiency will come to the light in those seven-game series. The Warriors will need all guns blazing if they run into San Antonio or Houston in the postseason.