The 10 Biggest NBA Playoff Injury Concerns
After 2,460 regular season games, only 16 teams remain eligible to win the NBA Championship. Each team has battled with injuries this season. Some of those injuries have already determined the end to a particular team's season. With the playoffs beginning this Saturday, which teams have the most concern going in? Let's find out.
10. Mehmet Okur
Mehmet Okur, who has been suffering from mild Achilles tendinitis, is expected to play in Game One. But with an already limited lineup, Okur will be expected to play extra minutes.
One can only wonder how this will affect his Achilles if Utah's series with Denver goes to seven games. The Jazz simply can't afford to lose Okur in any way if they want to make it out of the first round.
9. Tyson Chandler
The Charlotte Bobcats enter the playoffs for the first time in franchise history.
No one expects them to upset the heavily favored Orlando Magic, but if they don't want to be run out of the gym, Tyson Chandler will need to play.
Chandler was taken out of Charlotte's season finale after hip and elbow injuries. Although x-rays came back negative, he was banged up enough to warrant a second half benching.
8. Robin Lopez
Lopez missed the Suns' final 10 games of the regular season with a back injury. Phoenix didn't suffer wins-wise, but need Lopez if they want to make a deep run.
Alvin Gentry has already ruled him out for the first round, but luckily the Suns face a Portland team that is missing two centers.
7. Andrei Kirilenko
The Jazz have run into some terrible luck in the last week.
At one point they were in contention to be the No. 2 seed in the West, but the the injuries mounted up and Phoenix upset them in Salt Lake City.
Andre Kirilenko suffered his third calf injury on Thursday in practice, which will sideline him for the entire series against the Nuggets.
6. Kenyon Martin
Kenyon Martin injured his knee back in March, and has since returned, but he has not been playing at 100 percent.
At one point Denver was thought to be the only team that could challenge the Lakers, but they limped to the finish and ended up in fourth place.
When healthy, the Nuggets are dangerous. Martin still is day-to-day, which isn't a good thing for Denver.
5. Andrew Bynum
Andrew Bynum in some ways is the missing key to the Lakers. The reason being he has never made it through a season totally healthy.
With Bynum, the Lakers are by far the best team in the league.
Without him, they are not an overwhelming favorite.
He finally returned to practice for the first time since mid-March due to his Achilles injury, which is a positive for all L.A. fans.
4. Kevin Garnett
The Celtics are bound to have injury problems. Three of their starters are over the age of 30. This can be spun to mean they are a veteran-laden team whose experience will push them through the playoffs, or by this point in the season, they will finally break down.
K.G. has battled persistent injuries all year and his knees are wearing thin. He also tweaked his ankle last week. All of Boston's starters are having some sort of problem, but K.G. is the most worrisome.
If the Boston Three Party wants to see one more championship before they retire, they need to stay healthy.
3. Andrew Bogut
Unlike all the other players on this list, Andrew Bogut is the sole player who will definitely not see playing time this postseason. The surging Bucks played great basketball after the All-Star break.
Bogut ended his season, and essentially Milwaukee's season, after he hurt his arm two weeks ago versus Phoenix. Bogut was averaging a double-double this year and will be sorely missed in the playoffs.
The Bucks are sure to go down easily now against a tough Atlanta Hawks team.
2. Carlos Boozer
The Jazz are perhaps the most unlucky team in that three of their starters have all gotten hurt in the past month.
The most important of these players is Carlos Boozer, who sat out their season finale, which led to a loss to Phoenix at home. This cost the Jazz the very important home-court advantage that they need.
His partially torn oblique muscle won't force him to sit out the first game of their series versus Denver, but it will certainly limit him.
1. Brandon Roy
It was made official today that Brandon Roy opted to have knee surgery instead of waiting until the end of the postseason.
This is an interesting move because it is possible that he could return for the second round of the playoffs, but his absence all but kills Portland's chances for a victory over the Suns.
The Trail Blazers already are without Greg Oden and Joe Pryzbilla for the remainder of the season. The Blazers were a team that were a dark horse favorite, but with the mounting injuries, they will be lucky to win more than a game or two against Phoenix.