NBA: Condensed Seasons Leaves Trail of Injuries and Questions to be Answered

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Traditionally the gap between NBA seasons would leave exhausted players ample time to recover before getting back down to action, with June to October being effectively clear of league action, however in the age of COVID-19 such a break did not occur.

Last season’s truncated schedule meant that the L.A Lakers clinched the NBA title with game six taking place on October 11th. Then, just 72 days later and with players having experienced a stop-start conclusion to 2019-20, the new season tipped off.

This was always going to present problems and so it has proven. The rate of injuries, especially in the run up to and within the play-offs, has been quite astonishing. Keeping on top of who’s fit and who’s not can be a crucial part of how to bet on the NBA, and that’s something provides a wealth of assistance with, especially when it comes to up to date odds for all the key games.

The rate of injuries is the highest since data was effectively recorded and it’s very much something that could have been foreseen. The rush to get a new season underway was clearly motivated by the need to placate sponsors and TV schedules, but it’s a decision that may have serious repercussions on individuals and the sport as a whole.

The list of players who have found themselves sidelined during, or ahead of, the NBA playoffs is glittering to say the least.

Anthony Davis, Jamal Murray, Jaylen Brown, James Harden, Kyrie Irving, Mike Conley, Kawhl Leonard, Chris Paul, Trae Young and Giannis Antetokounmpo are some of those who have clearly suffered the effects of a condensed season that has decimated the league.

The injuries suffered, strains and pulls, are the direct result of over-extensions that have come about due to players having insufficient time to recover as games have come thick and fast in a season that is set to be completed in record time.

It’s an issue that medical professionals with the game, players and coaches have all been shouting about from the rooftops and the most high-profile of them all, LeBron James, made it clear that some teams had more a long haul than others, further impacting on the initial issue of a condensed season.

“I always think from the moment we entered the bubble to now, it’s been draining. Mentally, physically, spiritually, emotionally draining.”

“Every team has to deal with it, obviously. But with us and Miami going the long haul in the bubble and then coming right back on short notice to this season, it’s been draining.” James added.

Issues haven’t just been physical, there’s also real mental issues that have to be addressed and these date back to the days of the ‘bubble’ that was in operation for much of the previous season. This is something that Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr has commented on.

“The COVID protocols, the lack of emotional connection. Not being able to see family or friends on the road, go out to dinner, all the normal things that you do to kind of fill up your cup and complete your social life,” Kerr stated. “You don’t have any of those things, so this season has been extremely draining.”

Once the current season is done and dusted one wonders if the long-term effects will eat on into the following campaign and if further coronavirus restrictions do come into place, you’d hope the NBA would be more forgiving to those on the court and in the locker room.

About Jake Rogers 288 Articles
Jake Rogers is a sports writer who attended Arizona State University and currently serves as a contributor for NBA Analysis Network.