Sadly, injuries are a major part of competitive sports, and basketball is no exception to this premise, with some of the best players in the world constantly being forced to be in the bleachers because of nagging pains.
Injuries can be extremely tricky and players need to treat them with a lot of respect if they don’t want to put their careers in jeopardy, regardless of how badly they want to be in the hardwood helping their teammates out.
This season has been plagued with heartbreaking injuries and some others that seem quite odd and prevent teams from even talking about a possible timetable near the sidelines, forcing coaches to make several adjustments to try and fill the voids those guys left in their squad.
Today, we’re going to build an NBA All-Injured team featuring players that will either lose the remainder of the season or at least a big portion of it, so feel free to comment and let us know how many wins do you think they could get if paired altogether when healthy.
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PG: Isaiah Thomas
Isaiah Thomas is yet to make his debut as a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers and we all know he’s craving that revenge against the Boston Celtics and pretty much all the NBA, so it’s pretty safe to expect a lot of monster lines out of him.
Coming off a career-best season, Thomas posted averages of 28.9 points, 5.9 assists and 0.9 steals per game in 46% from the floor and 38% from deep, and he became the master of the clutch leading all scorers in the 4Q during his last season as a Celtic.
SG: Gordon Hayward
Gordon Hayward is one of the most hardworking guys in the Association and he’d be a prime asset or any team, especially for this kind of squad, considering he’s quite versatile and can play as much as three different positions with great ease.
Hayward has vastly improved his offensive game and is also becoming a very solid defender, and he was coming off a career-best season (21.9 points, 5.4 boards, 3.5 assists, 1 steal) before suffering that cringe-worthy season ending injury just 5 minutes into his Boston Celtics debut.
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SF: Kawhi Leonard
At first, Kawhi Leonard’s injury didn’t seem like anything serious, but a couple of months into the regular season, we’re still waiting to see the best two-way player in the league make his debut and it doesn’t seem like he’s nowhere near ready to return.
Still, Leonard is one of the best players in the world and the guy that can take the Spurs to distance and take off the Golden State Warriors, and his last season averages of 25.5 points, almost 6 rebounds, 3.5 dimes, 1.8 steals and 0.7 blocks per game make him the most missed player this season by fans all over the world.
PF: Blake Griffin
And yet another member of the Los Angeles Clippers makes this team, after Doc Rivers’ squad already lost Teodosic, Beverley and Gallinari as well, with Griffin suffering a tricky knee injury that’s likely going to keep him in street clothes for at least a couple of months.
Griffin was carrying most of the offensive load for the Clippers with Chris Paul playing for the Rockets, averaging 24.6 points, 7.9 rebounds and a career-best 5.1 dimes, and their season seems pretty much down the toilet at this point.
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C: Rudy Gobert
And last but not least, we get the team’s defensive anchor: Rudy Gobert. Gobert is now “The man” in Utah but is forced to be on the sidelines after suffering a knee injury. Still, he’s the best rim protector in the league.
The Jazz have managed to surge even despite Rudy’s physical struggles, and he was posting really nice averages of 13.9 points, 10.5 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game in 62% from the floor and a very respectable 71% from the free throw line.
Bench: Jeremy Lin, Patrick Beverley, Zach LaVine, Paul Millsap, D’Angelo Russell
Jeremy Lin is far behind his brief “Linsanity” stint, but he’s still a very capable scorer and facilitator that could lead the second unit, freeing Thomas from ball-handling duties to let him play off the ball.
Finally playing without James Harden besides him, Patrick Beverley was having the best season of his career, averaging career highs in points, rebounds and steals with over 12 points, 4.1 boards, almost 3 dimes and 1.7 steals per game on 40% from the floor.
LaVine is quite versatile and can play either guard spot and even the three, and if he manages to come back at least half as explosive as he was before falling down with an injury, expect a lot of highlights coming from this all-injured squad as well.
Millsap is set to lose a couple of months, but he’s definitely going to pick up things where he left them during his first Nuggets stint, and his offensive skillset and defensive presence make him one of the league’s best power forwards in the last decade.
D’Angelo Russell would have the chance to play where he thrives the most: off ball. Russell has struggled to become a consistent scorer from beyond the arc, but the skillset is there and it’s just a matter of time before he figures things out. These pieces altogether could easily win 63 games through a full season. What do you think?