6 Takeaways from Monday Night's Battered and Bruised NBA Action

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6 Takeaways from Monday Night's Battered and Bruised NBA Action
Douglas Jones-USA TODAY Sports

Monday night's six-game NBA schedule was chock full of playoff implications. It was also missing some of the league's biggest stars.

The Miami Heat and Denver Nuggets put their double-digit winning streaks on the line minus key pieces (Dwyane Wade and Ty Lawson, respectively). John Wall was forced to put on a one-man show for the Washington Wizards, who squared off with a Memphis Grizzlies team playing without Marc Gasol. Both the Indiana Pacers (George Hill and Lance Stephenson) and New Orleans Hornets (Greivis Vasquez and Eric Gordon) went to war without their starting backcourts. And for the Orlando Magic, they were forced to overcome the absence of their anchor, Nikola Vucevic, much to Chris Bosh's delight.

Even the teams apparently working at full strength wouldn't claim that they were. The Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Lakers battled in Oakland with their typical starting lineups, but each team's leader was nursing a recent ankle injury (Stephen Curry and Kobe Bryant, respectively).

Some teams handled their losses better than others. A lot better. Four of the six games on tap were decided by double digits.

So, which replacement players best filled the voids? And which ones reminded us all how they ended up on the second team in the first place?

Read on to find out.

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