Unless you’re a hardcore fan of one of a small group of five NBA teams, the injuries sustained this season to many of the league’s star players have made this a dismal campaign thus far.
The Thunder are one of the five, but we’ve seen them have to deal with missed time from Russell Westbrook, who is out again until sometime after the All-Star break. The Lakers are without Steve Nash and Kobe Bryant, the Bulls once again have lost Derrick Rose for the season, the Nets are without Brook Lopez, the Grizzlies have lost Marc Gasol, and the Hawks will be without Al Horford.
And these are just the injuries that are season-ending, or that have gone on for extended periods. The list gets even lengthier if you want to start including guys who are back, like Tyson Chandler in New York or Deron Williams in Brooklyn.
Despite the dearth of healthy superstars that has wrecked this season for fans of the game overall, if the league is to be believed, there are no more serious injuries than are normally suffered in a typical NBA season.
But even if it feels like a historic season of players going down for long stretches—not including role players such as Raymond Felton (strained hamstring) and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (broken hand)—the number of these injuries has not been out of the ordinary, according to the NBA.
A league spokesperson told Bleacher Report on Saturday that a preliminary analysis of “significant” injuries, defined as those forcing a player to miss 10 or more games, shows that they are trending at a similar rate compared to the last five seasons through roughly the first two months of play.
When several superstars go down, such as Rose, Bryant and Westbrook, it can give the impression that things are worse than they really are.
The amount of more minor injuries that have occurred in just the season’s first two months is too great to itemize here, but the data says we’re seeing essentially what we’ve always seen over the past five years.
That might be true, but with so many big names sidelined, the season has been a bit of a disappointment for those of us not entirely consumed by the fates of the Heat, Pacers, Spurs, Thunder, or Blazers.