Found May 17, 2013 on The Roosevelts:

The Miami Heat are coasting through the 2013  playoffs and it’s not just a testament to how good they are; they’ve also been very serendipitous with the best players from opposing teams have gotten hurt left and right. And considering that were are the tail end of the NBA awards season where players, coaches, and managers alike are awarded trophies for their achievement, it is only fitting that we—in awards season fashion—celebrate those who are not currently with us on the court. Here are five players who have succumbed to the injury bug, hereby dubbed the 2013 All-Injury team. PG – Derrick Rose, Chicago Bulls Injury: ACL tear The way in which Derrick Rose sustained his injury last year was crushing, nursing his injury  on the court in fetal position. A lot has been made of the way Chicago has handled Rose’s return since he was cleared to play month’s ago, but would the Bulls have fared better this year against the Miami Heat in the second round of the Eastern Conference playoffs? It does seem like a viable idea on paper but you have to remember that chemistry plays a greater role in basketball than the average takes into consideration. Plus, the Bulls accomplished two things: they can succeed without Rose if the situation arises again and the franchise will receive a higher pick in this year’s draft to improve for the next few years. SG – Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder Injury: Right meniscus tear Oklahoma City Thunder’s Russell Westbrook was subtle in comparison to Rose’s injury, though the outcome of his injury arguably shifted the course of this year’s Western Conference playoffs. With Westbrook out with a meniscus tear, Kevin Durant—as much as an offensive force that he is—could not overcome the defensive prowess of Marc Gasol and the rest of the Memphis Grizzlies. A playoff series with Westbrook would definitely have a different outcome but, unfortunately  this playoff series will be filed in one of the great what-ifs of basketball, especially because the team seems to be in its prime when healthy. SF – Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers Injury: torn Achilles tendon The Lakers struggled with as as many injuries as they have championship banners this season. It seems that there was never a point in the season where the team was healthy enough to create any chemistry. Bryant, through all that, was still the vocal leader. There were stretches of games in which he single-handedly took over a game and got the W. After scrounging for one the last remaining playoff spots, Kobe tore his achilles tendon and wiped all hope of making the postseason. His teammates made the playoffs regardless but were swept by the San Antonio Spurs. A Kobe vs Spurs matchup (because that’s how it would have been advertised) would have been the greatest high-profile matchup in the first round. Here’s hoping that Vino overcomes this unfortunate injury. SF – Danny Granger, Indiana Pacers Injury: Knee The Indiana Pacers are still alive in the 2013 playoffs and can continue to the Eastern Conference Finals against the Miami Heat. it’s amazing that the team, under the tutelage of head coach Frank Vogel, have gone this far without their star player who they lost in March to a knee injury. But in fact, Granger was out for longer, having gone through surgery in the offseason for patellar tendinosis. He was only available for a few games in the season. His absence arguably opened the opportunity for Paul George, who been the de facto star ever since. Still, one has to wonder what the Pacers will do now. Will they attempt to utilize their young talent as much as possible or is Granger on the outside looking in? C – Amar’e Stoudemire, New York Knicks With the smorgasbord of wily, beat-up veterans on the Knicks roster, who would have guessed that Stoudemire, once player worthy of a max-contract, would be the biggest question mark surrounding the upstart Knicks team? This squad was surprisingly good this season after being down on their luck for the latter part of a decade. Still, one can only wonder how good the team would have been with a healthy Amar’e in the rotation to accompany the even-older big men on the roster.

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