The NBA playoffs are moving along, and there has been no shortage of injuries around the league that have impacted several first-round games. The flurry of injuries is similar to what we saw in the regular season, and some team personnel members around the league reportedly felt 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.
Whatever the reason, virtually every team in the league has had to deal with injury issues, and some 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.
MVP finalist Joel Embiid went down hard on Monday night during a drive in the second quarter of Game 4 between the Philadelphia 76ers and Washington Wizards. Embiid immediately went back to the locker room and was ruled out of the remainder of the game, in which the Sixers lost, with a right knee injury. After undergoing an MRI on Tuesday, the big man is expected to be doubtful for Game 5, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
The Los Angeles Lakers suffered a huge blow during Game 4 of their series against the Phoenix Suns, when All-Star big man Anthony Davis went down with a groin injury in the second quarter. He was ruled out for the remainder of that game, and although he was listed as questionable for Game 5, he will sit out for at least one more game.
Kemba Walker was ruled out for Game 4 of the Boston Celtics playoffs series against the Brooklyn Nets, and missed Game 5 as well with the same knee injury. Walker has been hampered with injuries all season long, most recently an oblique strain at the end of April before the postseason started. Not having Walker again isn’t ideal for a Boston team that is staring down elimination on Tuesday night.
The Washington Wizards’ Game 4 win over the heavily favored Philadelphia 76ers in their first-round playoff series on Monday night was bittersweet, as sharpshooting forward Davis Bertans went down with a calf strain in the third quarter and did not return to the game. The news gets even worse, as Bertans is expected to be sidelined for 4-to-6 weeks with what’s now being described as a grade two calf strain. With the Wizards looking to avoid elimination Wednesday night, it’s likely we’ve seen the last of Bertans this season.
The Lakers were without Kentavious Caldwell-Pope for Game 4 in their loss to the Suns as the shooting guard was dealing with soreness in his left knee. He suffered the injury in Game 3, and missed a majority of the second half in that contest. He recently said he’s “feeling much better,” and is reportedly expected back in the lineup for Game 5.
Will Barton has yet to make his postseason debut this season, as he’s been dealing with a hamstring strain that has kept him out since April 24. Coach Mike Malone said after Monday’s practice that Barton “still hasn’t checked everything off the training staff’s checklist,” and has “no idea” when he’ll be ready to go.”
Strained plantar fascia — Out until at least June 6
The Brooklyn Nets lost Jeff Green to a strained plantar fascia at the end of May, and he’s expected to be sidelined for at least 10 days. So far, Green’s injury hasn’t significantly impacted Brooklyn’s performance in the first round as the Nets have been dominant against the Celtics. However, if Green’s injury lingers past the 10 days and into the next round, it could be problematic.
Clippers big man Serge Ibaka has been sidelined for the past two games with a back injury that’s bothered him throughout the regular season. He missed 30 consecutive games prior to the playoffs with a back injury, and hasn’t been able to be 100 percent to get on the court for the last two games. Tyronn Lue doesn’t expect the big man to suit up for Game 5 in L.A.
The Knicks are down 3-1 in their playoff series against the Atlanta Hawks, and it’s evident this team misses Mitchell Robinson’s presence down in the post against Clint Capela. Unfortunately, it doesn’t sound like there’s been any new news on his fractured foot, which has kept him sidelined since March 27. He’s been listed as “out” for each game in the playoffs, and coach Tom Thibodeau said on May 26 that the team is “not taking any chances with him,” regarding his rehab process. We may not see Robinson in the postseason this year if the Knicks don’t advance past the first round, but considering New York is building for the future, it’s understandable for this team’s long-term outlook.
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 season. 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 Milwaukee doesn’t have a ton of depth this season.