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Nowitzki is one of many stars that haven't played this season.
This may be a common disappointment but it has really stood out. The injuries have increased this season and it's only December. The amount of stars that you see on top of league leaders have been missed. A few will be back within the next few weeks, while others still have a few months before they make their eventual return.
Derrick Rose remains injured, even though he was expected to miss almost a year. Chicago has played well in his absence and if they can keep their record above .500 until he comes back, Chicago should be able to make a run in the playoffs.
Dirk Nowitzki is another superstar that has been missing even though his return should be coming shortly. It was an odd injury considering it happened around mid-October. Dallas has shown some promise without him, but after last night's performance against Miami it showed they need him if they want to stand a chance against the best teams on a nightly basis.
Danny Granger is another player that is going through a long-term injury and won't be back until the spring. Indiana has played decently in his absence, but it seems to me that they are benefiting from a weak Eastern conference more than actual talent. The team is still solid but they are very short-handed right now offensively without Granger.
Steve Nash was mentioned before and has to be mentioned again. Even if he's on the downside of his career, Nash is still a difference maker. When he returns, it makes that Los Angeles offense more unpredictable and it should make the addition of Mike D'Antoni worth something.
The last major injury has to be with John Wall. Washington was a team that I felt had some promise and could possibly challenge for a eighth seed. Instead they are 3-20 and are the worst team in the league. Wall's explosiveness and command makes Washington more of a threat to teams instead of the current slow, predictable team.
Of course there are more injuries like Amare Stoudemire and Andrew Bogut, even though they have become yearly injury-prone figures. The same can be said for Eric Gordon as well.
When you look at the list, it makes you thankful if you are rooting for a team that hasn't dealt with any injuries.