Because half of the league seems to be injured right now, I've got to be thinking: who are the best ones who are messed up right now in some way? Anyway, here's our second attempt at staying relevant in this list-obsessed sports blogging universe, the second ever (and probably last ever) "Power Rankings (of Injured Players)":
10. Chris Bosh / red right ankle
There's a chance that Bosh will be back at any time, which is good for Miami, who have lost more games than they've won since Bosh went down a couple weeks ago. While Bosh's listed injury is "sprained right ankle," his more exact injury (at least, according to the doctors I've spoken with) is "red right ankle," which is remarkably also an old song by the popular indie rock band the Decemberists. Similar to Bosh, the song relies on a certain tender softness, like the delicate fold of a lace napkin. As Colin Meloy once sang, perhaps directly in reference to the finesse big man, "Some had crumbled you straight to your knees."
9. Michael Redd / knee surgery
Unlike the most important member of the Miami Heat, Michael Redd hasn't made much of an impact for the Bucks lately. In fact, Redd hasn't done anything for the whole NBA over the last few seasons because of his tendency towards breaking things inside of his body -- besides cost Herb Kohl millions of dollars. The reasons for Redd's inclusion on this list haven't really changed from the original list, but with ND's jump to Business Insider, it should mentioned that his expiring contract ($17 million!) has barely made the trade rumor websites this season.
8. Yao Ming / tall man leg problem
The biggest disappointment about Yao Ming is that his aborted comeback will probably prevent a fringe player like Kevin Love (or LaMarcus Aldridge) from being an All-Star for the first time. Such bull. Good luck with your recovery, but Kevin Love might get better than you ever were.
7. Greg Oden / tall man leg problem II
I had the privilege the other night to hear Bill Walton call the Celtics/Blazers game from the Rose Garden in Portland. Walton clearly hadn't missed a beat from his days as lead color commentator on national broadcasts, and in one great anecdote, shared how he had spoken with oft-injured Greg Oden before the game. Knowing a thing or two about injuries limiting your potential, Walton recalled how he had recommended that Oden take some time off, move to Hawaii, become a Zen master, and reinvent himself (spiritually, I assume). It was amazing. Oh great, Trey Kerby posted about it before me. Whatever bro, you weren't there.
6. Tyrus Thomas / left knee injury
Despite the newly found awesomeness of the Charlotte Bobcats, Tyrus Thomas had been struggling until finally undergoing knee surgery the other week. Thomas has been pretty uneven all season, but when he had the playing time he usually performed pretty well. It's a shame to see him out considering the "run" that the Bobcats have been on, but in his absence, Paul Silas has been running a really tight D'Antoni-esque rotation, and they've won most of their games. When he returns in March, he'll have a great role to play.
5. Brandon Jennings / broken foot
Any day now, Jennings will be back, hopefully with a new Gumby haircut or something, and then we can all relive his glory days of last season while he gets back into form. His game was advancing a bit this year, and while the Bucks are looking like a pretty weak team, they could still sneak into the playoffs because of how top-heavy the Eastern Conference is this year. Jennings could be the missing link for the Bucks, but considering that they're almost ten games under .500, Jennings might overextend himself to push his team, and that would almost certainly end poorly.
4. Joakim Noah / right thumb surgery
Joakim Noah is coming back soon, but he still ranks highly on the Authoritative Power Rankings of Injured Players because of his impact on the Bulls. Thankfully (and unexpectedly!) for them, the decrepit mummy of Kurt Thomas has been defrosted to provide some youthful exuberance in the front-court. But with All-Star bench players being announced on Thursday, it's hard to not assume Noah would be pushing for a spot if he hadn't been injured for the last couple months.
3. Derrick Rose / double ulcers
Have you ever had an ulcer before? I haven't, but a very good friend of mine had one for a while after exposing himself to an excessive amount of hot sauce and spicy food over a period of several years. Unlike my friend, Derrick Rose probably hasn't exposed himself to an inordinate amount of habanero paste/sauce/juice, but his play for the last few weeks has been particularly spicy, which I guess could give you an ulcer too.
2. Caron Butler / mangled up knee
The absence of Caron Butler from the Mavericks has led the team into a near tailspin. Well, maybe most of that was due to Dirk being out, but since he's been back, he's been playing pretty awfully. I guess he probably just misses his buddy. Butler might've been the consistency wings beneath Nowitzki's consistent wings, but his contract is trade bait right now. Luckily, the Mavericks made an illegal trade to get the back problems of Peja Stojakovic on their 15-man roster.
1. Brandon Roy / destroyed leg
What I said last time is still true, so I'll just quote myself. "Former pro basketball franchise player, current patient for experimental surgeries. Roy was never a very exciting player to watch, and this year his "evolving game" (not trying to mess himself up) reminded me of Paul Pierce, and not in a good way. Dude dragged his body up and down the court, but I guess that's what happens when you don't have any cartilage in your knees. The tragedy of Brandon Roy might be one of the largest bummers of this decade, considering his promise and potential a couple of years ago."
And on that cheerful note, the second Official Top 10 Authoritative Power Rankings (of Injured Players) has been completed. Hopefully all of these dudes get healthy (even Michael Redd), to make more money in a year than most Americans will make in their lifetimes.
Posted by Chris on Friday, January 28, 2011
On Wednesday, Kevin Durant and the Thunder played the Minnesota Timberwolves to an epic overtime standoff, which only ended when one of the worst starters in the NBA botched a free throw with seven seconds left. This led to a messy tangling underneath the basket, and several disgusting attempts at winning the game by players who had no right to even try.
The franchise in Minneapolis is in desperate need for some good news. Forbes just ranked the Timberwolves as the penultimately least valuable NBA franchise, almost $7 million last year in the red on operating income. For ownership, being two points behind with two free throws coming must've looked pretty good, in retrospect. Unfortunately, Corey Brewer was taking the shots.
Upon gaining an offensive rebound on Corey Brewer’s miss, Kevin Love’s deferment of that game-winning post shot might be one of the budding star’s most egregious “basketball IQ” errors in his career. But the dude will get better with time. After last night, he may stop making that mistake. Love’s play last night was absolutely sublime, and this might be the first game that has made many of us realize his consistent greatness.
Considering Durant’s nearly legendary effort (and more importantly, winning), it’s not surprising that Love is being overlooked. And considering that he received a hard no-call on that last possession (where the officials called the foul sending Brewer to the line), I’m sure it makes the days after such a competitive game even more difficult.
But instead, many major sporting outlets in the country is calling for Kevin Durant to be considered for MVP again. Durant had an ethereal night, sure, but he only played that well because he wasn’t getting as much help as he needed. Russell Westbrook’s shooting was mediocre and he committed eight turnovers. Jeff Green performed Jeff Greenly.
Love, on the other hand, was part of a team effort by the Timberwolves, likely their best game of the season. Love shot and hit 3 three-pointers, and shot 56% total, collected 21 rebounds (8 offensive)... but whatever: Durant! Through the incredible play of Love and Michael Beasley, there are signs that – perhaps next year – the Timberwolves will be contending for a playoff spot. Maybe. Instead: another loss, another laugh at Kurt Rambis’ poor imitation of Phil Jackson, Beasley’s past drug issues, Ricky Rubio being a baby.
Last night, nobody was thinking about any of that: all we saw was Durant, Love and Beasley, and one of the best games of the season that nobody watched.