Monday , Feb , 23 , 2009 J.N.

The NBA is not at full strength. Does this cheapen the title?

The NBA is not at full strength. Does this cheapen the title?I have never seen anything like this before. People thought that the league was stacked this year. The injury bug pulled a Black Thought from the Roots and said, “Players who slept for days, must be swept away.”

It sure did. Michael Redd, Andrew Bogut, Amar’e Stoudemire, Carlos Boozer (about to return), Chris Kaman (about to return), Jameer Nelson, Al Jefferson, Elton Brand, Andrew Bynum, Mike Dunleavy, Gilbert Arenas, Jason Terry, Monta Ellis, Danny Granger, Tracy McGrady, and Greg Oden.

Lesser known players such as Martell Webster and Nene Hilario will be out for quite some time, too.

The injury bug has been a monster more so than any other season I can remember. These are not the type of injuries that are day to day or just for a couple of weeks. These are months, season ending, or *gulp* possibly career ending. As I type this, the injury bug has gotten Kevin Garnett and Manu Ginobili. This also has to be the worst fantasy basketball season with major injuries to major stars. Who will the bug hit next?

Does this necessarily cheapen the title for the champions this year?

I know what the Laker fanboys will say if they win the title this year, “We didn’t have Bynum so ha!” Well, you didn’t have Bynum last season and made it to the Finals against the Celtics just fine. The Lakers have the potential to win it without him. The Celtics can brag about the same thing if Garnett, or any other of the big 3, was injured and they still won. This negates each other although I think that the Celtics would be in huge trouble if any of the big 3 went out for the rest of the year since their bench is not deep like the Lakers. Anyway, since this league is so stacked, we will not see the NBA at its best this season with the injuries piling up with more potential injuries upcoming. You better pray that it doesn’t happen with a star on your team or on your fantasy squad.

Personally, this does cheapen the title just a bit since we’re not going to see the best of the best at full strength compete. When a team doesn’t win, they’ll resort to “Oh well you’re lucky. If we had so and so, we would have won.” I don’t like that reasoning, but everyone will use it any way because it is justified depending on who the player is. It opens a lot of “what if” possibilities that just seems somewhat pointless to debate over because, unfortunately, injuries are part of the game. That’s half the battle; to stay injury free. Would the Lakers of last season beat the Celtics if Bynum didn’t get injured? Would Michael Jordan and His Bulls lose to Magic’s Lakers if Byron Scott and James Worthy didn’t get injured?

How good would the Washington Wizards be if Gilbert Arenas never got injured? I have an answer for that. They’ll suck even with Gilbert Arenas. They’re just not a deep talented team and the contract of Hibachi set the world of the Wizards on fire.

Even with that written, I hate long term injuries to any player because I do not want to listen to sob stories. The only possible silver lining to injuries is that it opens up playing time for reserves that truly deserve it such as Ramon Sessions, Lamar Odom, or the young guards in Washington.

Face it. Injury is the nature of the beast.

By the way, how is your fantasy team looking?