As the NBA approaches the conclusion of the 2020-21 season, the health of the teams remaining in the field has thus far been the biggest story of the postseason. The flurry of injuries in these playoffs continues a trend that began in the regular season, and some team personnel members around the league reportedly feel it’s a direct result of the compressed 2020-21 schedule, as the league wanted to fit in a 72-game schedule despite the season not starting until late December.
Regardless of why, virtually every team in the league has had to deal with injury issues this season, and many of them have carried over into the postseason. To keep you updated, here’s a running list of all the major injuries in the NBA, and how they are affecting teams and players ahead of the playoffs.
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To see every team’s current injury situation, click here.
Leonard suffered a knee injury during Game 4 against the Utah Jazz, and proceeded to miss Games 5 and 6 due to what the Clippers called a knee sprain. It is unclear just how serious this injury is, though, as a new report has surfaced that says Leonard is dealing with an ACL injury and that he could be out indefinitely. For now, the latest intel comes from Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, who reports that Leonard will not travel to Phoenix for the beginning of the Western Conference finals and will instead remain in Los Angeles to rehab. He injured his knee after trying to plant his foot on a fast break with 5:25 remaining in the fourth quarter of Game 4. After trying to stretch and massage the knee, Leonard came out a couple possessions later and did not check back in. Losing him for a significant amount of time would be incredibly detrimental to the Clippers’ championship hopes, but they’ve proven capable of treading water without him by taking Games 5 and 6 against Utah.
Kyrie Irving rolled his ankle badly in Game 4 against the Milwaukee Bucks and remains out of action. Despite his X-rays on his ankle returning negative, the Nets’ All-Star guard missed Games 5 and 6, and will now also miss Game 7. It is unclear how severe the injury is beyond that or how long he will be unable to play.
The 76ers‘ Danny Green played just four minutes in Game 4 against the Hawks due to what the team later announced as a right calf strain. He wore a walking boot for the remainder of the game, and he’ll be reevaluated in at least two weeks. Sixers coach Doc Rivers has been using Furkan Korkmaz as a replacement starter for Green against the Atlanta Hawks.
Unfortunately for the Hawks, Hunter won’t be playing in another game for them this season. Hunter experienced some swelling in his knee prior to the start of the series against the Sixers, and an MRI revealed a small tear of his lateral meniscus. Hunter is expected to undergo surgery this weekend, the Hawks announced. Hunter missed 46 games during the regular season with right knee soreness, and he had two separate non-surgical procedures to deal with the issue. This is the same knee that he just tore his meniscus in, indicating that it’s been an issue for him all season long. Hopefully he’s able to address the issue now and be ready to go for the start of next season.
Serge Ibaka‘s season is over after undergoing surgery on his ailing back. The Clippers big man has been sidelined since the second game of the first round with a sore back that’s bothered him throughout the regular season. He missed 30 consecutive games prior to the playoffs with the same injury, and hasn’t been able to be 100 percent to get on the court for meaningful minutes in the postseason.
The Milwaukee Bucks advanced to the second round of the postseason after sweeping the Miami Heat, but lost shooting guard Donte DiVincenzo in the process to a tendon injury in his left foot which will sideline him for the rest of the playoffs. The injury occurred in the second quarter of Game 3, with Milwaukee in full command against Miami. DiVincenzo drove past Goran Dragic, who fouled him, but stopped in pain before going up for the shot. It could prove to be a huge blow for the Bucks as they continue on through the playoffs, as they don’t have a ton of depth this season.