How NBA playoffs would differ if injured stars were healthy
Old 05-06-2009, 12:47 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default How NBA playoffs would differ if injured stars were healthy

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Injuries rob playoffs of some luster


While the Bulls and Celtics choreograph a series that mauls on and on like a Rocky Balboa fight, the rest of the playoffs have played out in the shadows by rote.

Of course, there have been some surprises -- such as the Mavericks' easy advancement as a No. 6 seed, which no one would have anticipated earlier this season when they were foundering. But let's be straight: Those weren't the real San Antonio Spurs who lost to Dallas in five games. With Manu Ginobili in slacks and Tim Duncan limping, the diminished Spurs turned into Tony Parker and a company of role players. Unless you're a fan with an emotional stake in either team, there was little reason to care about a series like Dallas-San Antonio once the Spurs became irrelevant to the championship race.

You have to go back two decades to the days of Magic's Lakers, Larry's Celtics, Moses' 76ers and Isiah's Pistons to find another era when you knew -- you just knew -- which teams were going to wind up meeting in the NBA Finals. It's as if the Lakers and Cavaliers already know they're going to win their respective primaries and are now preparing for the general election in June.


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Jameer Nelson, Magic: Orlando's two losses to Philadelphia came by two points each. Don't you think Nelson would have erased that deficit in one or both of those games? Before his February shoulder injury, Nelson was an All-Star point guard shooting 50.3 percent and managing the pick-and-roll in the half court, a staple Orlando would have exploited throughout this series. Topping all else would have been Nelson's leadership. He was the leader of the Magic, and his absence has forced Dwight Howard to grow into that role. Which isn't altogether bad, because in the long term the Magic may appreciate the leadership opportunities created for Howard. But for now, they're suffering without Nelson to show them the way.

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Tracy McGrady, Rockets: The blue-collar Rockets have pushed Portland around for much of this series, leaving Houston on the verge of its first series win in a dozen years. Next up would be the Lakers in a second-round meeting, which the Rockets couldn't survive. They would defend and push for easy baskets, but they wouldn't have enough half-court scoring to beat L.A.

The version of McGrady whose injured knee kept him playing below the rim this season wouldn't be of any help. But the T-Mac of previous years, who was capable of exploding for 30, surely would put a scare into the Lakers. If McGrady makes a full recovery by next season, it is going to be interesting to see if he can make the transition that Paul Pierce and Ray Allen completed last year in adapting their games to fit the larger needs of a championship team. In McGrady's case, that's going to require effort defensively and a willingness to play without the ball, as the Rockets attack the open court via their young point guards. Those are a lot of ifs, but they have major implications for the Rockets and McGrady next year.
How NBA playoffs would differ if injured stars were healthy - Ian Thomsen - SI.com
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Old 05-06-2009, 01:12 PM   #2 (permalink)
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its funny he mentions Tmac...
if Tmac was playing; the rockets wouldnt have got into the 2nd round.

its the tmac curse.
you cant fight curses.
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Old 05-06-2009, 02:49 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Round 1:

BOS CHI- If KG plays its a sweep, and after that, they beat ORL in 6(with Nelson) and take CLE to 7 setting up an epic game 7.

PHI ORL- ORL wins in 4 with Nelson and Brand healthy. PHI only won 2 games b ecause of a lot of lucky shots and fastbreaks. I love Brand but hes not the right fit for that team.

CLE DET- With Iverson its still a sweep. Next.

ATL MIA- Healthy Marvin Williams= ATL in 5 or 6.


DEN NOH- A healthy Chandler and Peja maybe makes game 4 close, but DEN still wins in 5.

POR HOU- With Tmac HOU goes away from their brilliant half court offence and Yao being the man, so the series goes 7 and who knows what happens then. I think id take the blazers in game 7. HOU definately doesnt win game 1 with Tmac starting instead of Battier vs LA though.

UTA LAL- Healthy Okur= 6 game series.

DAL SAS- This is probably the biggest turnaround with a player out. With Ginobili I think SA would have won in 6.


The main thing injuries have killed this postseason is the chance of 2 absolutely fantastic series when you looked at the matchups in early 2009. A healthy spurs trio vs the Lakers and a rematch of BOS CLE with a much improved Cavs team. Now we're going to feel cheated with CLEs easy road to the conference finals and if BOS somehow beats ORL, then cheated that CLE destroys a KG less Celtics team. If they play ORL then I think its a shame th at ORL makes it through when BOS was a better healthy team.

And SAS LAL is always fun to watch and always close. Who knows who would have made it out. SAS was improved from last year too.

Conclusion of this post: injuries blow and stole 2 great matchups from us. Now we're forced to likely watch LAL CLE in the Finals.
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Old 05-06-2009, 02:51 PM   #4 (permalink)
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coulda, shoulda, woulda.... you can never anticipate what would have happened if things were different. Things are the way they are and this is how theyre turning out. I actually think these playoffs have been much more interesting then other years. Looking back on what could have happened is just a waste of time...
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Old 05-06-2009, 02:59 PM   #5 (permalink)
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HAHA is this guy joking. With T-Mac in the line-up HOU woulda lost the series in 5 LOL. T-Mac is shit and I bet HOU is happy that he is injured right now
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Old 05-06-2009, 03:07 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Gurk thats not very nice to say. Tmac has feelings 2....
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Old 05-06-2009, 08:15 PM   #7 (permalink)
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T-mac is amazing boy, he just doesn't fit with the Rockets!

I think the most pivotal injuries were Ginobli's, and KG's. Celtic's just can't pull it together as well with Baby David playing their main PF role, and the Spurs need Manu to play with their own big 3.

Jameer Nelson also would've made a big impact, shortening the Orlando-Phili series to 4 or 5 games.
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Old 05-06-2009, 11:19 PM   #8 (permalink)
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imagine if Mike Jaffries didnt go to jail and was drafted by Toronto, we would win it all, ask Ron-Ron
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