Missing The Memo: Utah's Okur Ruptures Achilles in Game One

A shell of my former selfCorrespondent IApril 18, 2010

DENVER, CO - APRIL 17 : Mehmet Okur #13 of the Utah Jazz is helped off the court by trainers after twisitng an ankle during the first half of Game One of the Western Conference Quarterfinals of the 2010 NBA Playoffs at the Pepsi Center on April 17, 2010 in Denver, Colorado. Okur was not supposed to return to the game. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Marc Piscotty/Getty Images)
Marc Piscotty/Getty Images

Well, boom goes the dynamite. 

That's the sound of the Utah Jazz playoff window crumbling to the ground below after sustaining another devastating injury. 

Starting center Memo Okur ruptured his left Achilles tendon Saturday night in Denver in Game One of the first-round matchup with the Nuggets. 

Okur, already bothered by a lingering Achilles issue on the same foot, received an injection 90 minutes prior to the series tip off. 

The rupture occurred as Okur was driving to the basket in the second quarter and a took and awkward step and as he described, "felt something pop."

Jazz general manager Kevin O'Connor said that the timetable for this specific injury is three to six months, but traditionally could be a lot longer than expected. 

Philadelphia 76ers forward Elton Brand ruptured his Achilles tendon on Aug. 3, 2007 and was not able to return to action until April 6, 2008.

Former Jazz center Felton Spencer missed 11 months after suffering the same injury. 

To say the injury bug bit Utah at the most inopportune time would be an understatement.

With Andrei Kirilenko suffering three different strains in three separate parts of his right calf and Carlos Boozer sustaining what can only be explained as a "right oblique strain", the Jazz lost a shot at the No. 3 seed in last Wednesday's season-finale against the Phoenix Suns

Boozer returned to play 41 out of a possible 48 minutes in Saturday's 126-113 loss to the Nuggets. 

How this will affect the offseason for Utah, remains to be seen. 

It will undoubtedly impact how the Jazz will look at their lottery-pick they own from the New York Knicks. Utah is expected to own the No. 9 overall pick in this summer's NBA Draft, but could rise or fall due to the lottery ball system.

The injury to Okur is essentially catastrophic for Utah's postseason run.

After finishing the season poorly, dropping to the No. 5 seed, missing Kirilenko, and now the team's starting center and arguably the best shooter, the Jazz are unfortunately primed for another probable first-round exit. 

Head coach Jerry Sloan has yet to announce whom he will start in place of Okur. He could opt to go small inserting Paul Millsap into the lineup at the power forward position and moving Boozer to the center spot, which would thin the already-scrawny Jazz bench. 

Other candidates could be the 7'1" Kyrylo Fesenko or second-year big man, Kosta Koufos.