First round of the 2011 NBA Playoffs revealed some notable injuries down stretch, therefore let’s examine key players and their injury status going into the 2nd round .
With the second round of the 2011 NBA Playoffs underway and 8 teams left, injuries and health concerns are ALWAYS a key component for fantasy GM’s to monitor in playoff leagues.
Some of those teams may not be able to compete with a full roster, as many key injuries are forcing teams to regroup and strategize differently than normal.
With that being said, here is a look at some of the biggest injuries that every playoff team is facing this postseason thus far:
Jason Collins (Center): Collins sustained an ankle injury prior(missed final #3 games in regular season) to the Orlando series and a bruised tailbone from the rigorous match-up with Dwight Howard. The time-off for the Bulls in between the Series 1 and Series 2 should prove to be significant rest for Collins to heal.
Kirk Hinrich(PG): “doubtful” to play at all in the semifinals vs. the Bulls, after suffering a “significant strain” in his right hamstring in Thursday’s win. Hamstring injuries differ greatly in their severity, the ‘average’ hamstring strain probably takes 4-6 weeks to fully repair, rather than the 2-3 weeks. Most players can come back before full repair by running with a slightly decreased stride length on the injured side. Look for Jeff Teague to replace Hinrich. Head coach Larry Drew also said that Joe Johnson and Damien Wilkins may get some minutes defending Derrick Rose.
Shaquille O’Neal (Center): O’Neal will NOT play in Game 1 with a calf injury against the Miami Heat. The Celtics are targeting Game 2 or Game 3 for his return, but the Celtics are targeting for a “healthy” Shaq return, therefore don’t look for the Celtics to rush him back in a jersey, especially with Jermaine O’Neal and Kristic back in the line-up.
Carlos Boozer(PF): Boozer sustained a Turf Toe injury (right big toe)in game 5 against the Indiana Pacers. It’s probable Boozer will start in Game 1 against the Hawks, but look for his minutes to be limited as result of the injury.
Rodrigue Beaubois (Guard): sustained an ankle injury, but is cleared as “active”. Beaubois is known for penetrating defenses, but don’t expect to see alot of minutes in the 2nd round from Beaubois. “If he plays, it’ll be a situational thing, most likely, to start with and then we’ll kind of go from there,” Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said.
Dominique Jones(Guard): Jones is scheduled to have surgery to repair the stress fracture in his right foot and is expected to miss 10 weeks.
Caron Butler (Forward): Butler (patellar tendon tear) has been out sine Jan. 2011, during the regular season. Butler is optimistic that he will be back in the line-up by the 2nd round of the Laker’s v/s Dallas series, but currently he’s OUT as expected. Recovery from this type of surgery takes 6-9 months on average. Butler is currently practicing with the team, but under “NO-CONTACT” status, its reported that his lateral movements and strength are his weakest points of recovery thus far, but rehab recovery is well.
Los Angeles Lakers
Andrew Bynum (Center): Bynum’s knee history keeps him questionable, no matter what series in the playoffs the Lakers are in. Reports indicate that most recent activity has been knee drainage from swelling during the New Orleans series, but this shouldn’t cause great concern with playing status.
Steve Blake (Guard): TNT’s Charles Barkely commented that Blake looked like he lost 25lb.s, but that’s Charles Barkley. Blake just come off of chicken pox in the 1st series, therefore his early appearance came as a surprise, but his contributions to guard Chris Paul proved non-existent. Blakes had some down time for recovery between series 1 and series 2 though and should prove significant contribution on the floor(off the bench) in the 2nd round.
Kobe Bryant(SG): Ankle injury…what ankle injury?
Udonis Haslem (Forward): Haslem has missed most of the season with a foot injury, and is listed as doubtful for game one against the Philadelphia 76ers.
Rudy Gay: (shoulder) Gay is OUT for the rest of the season due to a shoulder dislocation and is recovering from surgery, but the Grizzlies are playing GREAT basketball without him, not to mention they eliminated the number 2 seed(San Antonio Spurs) already. Gay is a franchise player for the Grizzlies and Memphis has already resigned Z-Bo. Look out for this blue-collar team next year to make some noise…again! Even if they fall to OKC in the 2nd round, Memphis has had a great year.