The 2021 NBA Playoffs have been very entertaining, with great games night after night. It hasn’t been all sunshine and daisies though, with some of the games biggest stars going down with injury. Due to the bubble and the quick turnaround to the next season, it’s not surprising why we are seeing injuries across the board.
Clippers star Kawhi Leonard walking off court
LeBron James was a huge critic of jumping into a new season with only a few months layoff for recovery, and voiced his concerns on Twitter earlier this week. It is clear that the time off from the bubble to the start of the years season was not enough time for the stars (who played well into the bubble) to be able to rest up properly for another full season. Down below we will take a look at some NBA injuries and see what impact they can have moving forward.
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Kawhi injured his right knee in the Clippers game 4 win on Monday. The Clippers have not offered a time-table for his return which could mean he is out for the rest of the playoffs. The Clippers did finish off the Jazz in Game 6 last night, sending them to their first conference finals in franchise history. Look for the Leonard injury to carry through the Suns series and if the Clippers advance maybe even though the Finals.
Davis has been banged up all year with a calf strain forcing him to miss two months, right before the playoffs. Add on another two NBA injuries with AD injuring both his knee and groin in the series verse the Suns. The Lakers tired to give AD a go in Game 6 vs the Suns but he headed to the locker room after coming off the floor in some pain. Anthony Davis is going to need time to get healthy cause when he is, he can be one of the best players on the floor.
Harden came up holding his hamstring not even two minutes into Game 1 of the series vs the Bucks. Harden missed the next three games before a last-minute return to the line-up in Game 5. Harden brings a constant flow to the offense, even when he does jack up some dribble between the legs 3 pointers. James missed the last month of the regular season with a similar injury. Harden is one of the best scores in the NBA, so if he isn’t 100% the Nets could be looking at an earlier than expect trip to Cancun.
Kyrie sprained his ankle in the second quarter of Game 4 vs the Bucks and he is out indefinitely. This is a big blow to the Nets, who now have to rely on KD, a banged up Harden, and an at time bench who can struggle to produce. They may be deep enough to win this Game 7 tonight but I would be worried going into the next round. Kyrie out for the rest of the season might be what keeps the Nets from the Finals.
Embiid suffered a small lateral tear of his meniscus in the 76ers’ first round series vs the Wizards. He has come back to play in the series vs Atlanta but he has struggled in the series so far. Embiid knows he isn’t 100% and says he is just gonna manage it best he can. Philly has a Game 7 tomorrow and will need every bit of Embiid that they can. The 76ers need Embiid’s physical presence in the paint, with Dwight Howard not playing up-to-par in the series so far.