Injuries are just downright crippling. It destroys your team’s hopes, corrupts your sports bets (both meanings), deprives you of valuable fantasy points, and lowers your self-esteem. They are and will always be a literal and categorical kick to the guts. It’s like getting a ridiculous speeding fine from a cop who should be sitting in his car eating donuts. Life would be so much better off without them. Heartbreaking and utterly frustrating.
Championships hinge on this kind of shit.
So to kick off a new bit here on NBAMate called The List – basically an excuse to list things and get people voting on a poll – I’ve constructed the list of All-NBA Surgical Team candidates.
We know the injury bugs in 2009-10 cut deep (no pun intended), real deep in fact on some teams. So damming were the injuries that you could arguably construct an All-Star Team with the amount of big names that watched from the pine, which is where our first list takes us. Hopefully, we as NBA fans are not deprived of seeing the stars in suits this year, but rather with their jerseys on.
Last season’s First Team (missed games in brackets):
Yao Ming (82) – If any player deserves a Hand from God for a full 82, it’s him
Tracy McGrady (52 + 146 of a possible 460 for Houston Rockets) – T-Mac looks like this decades Penny Hardaway
Chris Paul (37) – Needs to stay 100% consistently, otherwise he’ll watch D-Will, Rose, Westbrook, even Wall pass him by
Blake Griffin (82) – A monster in college, potential fantasy stud also. Could very well be ROY 2010.
Greg Oden (61 & 82 out of 246 games in 3 seasons) – Please don’t be Sam Bowie 2.0.
This season’s candidates:
Note: It would be way too easy to throw Yao, Oden and T-Mac here again. But we’ll give them a Grant-Hill-chance to survive.
Andrew Bynum (Late November) – Needs ‘God-luck’ to stay healthy. Not even monitoring minutes will help. Combustible…
Kendrick Perkins (February 2011) – Title was lost without him. Gut feelings says Celtics will be just fine…for now.
Gilbert Arenas (Unstable) – At this point, you just never know. It’s sad not seeing him in the NBA’s Top 10.
Carlos Boozer (Early December) – No Booz, Bulls snooze.
Mike Miller (January 2011) – Without him, no 70 W’s. Huge call.