The biggest story throughout the NBA this playoff season has been how teams try to adjust after key injuries. Some of the game’s biggest stars have been hit by injuries as their team fights, and sometimes fell short in their opening-round matchup.
According to NBA fans around the league, the most costly injury has been to Los Angeles Lakers’ star Anthony Davis. The big man was picked by 31 percent of fans, beating out Dallas Mavericks star Luka Dončić with 23 percent.
The Lakers are out with LeBron losing the first first-round matchup of his storied career. Seeing Davis try and play on an injured hamstring and last for all of six minutes before nearly collapsing as he walked off the court was tough to watch.
Whether that means big changes are needed in LA (something tells me the grand Andre Drummond experiment might be over) or the compressed schedule and short offseason for the defending champs meant this season was doomed before it began remains to be seen.
Even tougher is what needs to happen in Dallas. Dončić has already established himself as one of the top 10 players in the NBA, but he needs some help. Luka was magical, even with his injury, but his teammates couldn’t capitalize on open looks and certainly couldn’t create for themselves.
It is unclear what options are on the table for Dallas. Jalen Brunson has one more cheap year before he gets extremely expensive and high-priced vets Tim Hardaway Jr. and JJ Redick will be unrestricted.
The team would be willing to move Kristaps Porzingis because they would likely want to bring in more dangerous shooting options but the three years and $100 million he is owed for what he provides will mean a cool if non-existent market.
Every game in the NBA playoffs feels like the most important of the season, but some are clearly more important than others. 43 percent of fans believe winning Game Four when down in the series 2-1 is the most crucial “must-win” game, beating out exclusively elimination games, which was picked by 36 percent of fans.
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