The 2019-2020 NBA season was supposed to be one of the more exciting ones in recent memory.
Anthony Davis and Kawhi Leonard both turned up the heat in Los Angeles. Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant took their talents to Brooklyn. The Golden State dynasty wasn’t done, but it took a significant hit, signaling more parity for the league.
Then, calamity reared its ugly head.
The Nets announce Kyrie Irving underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder. He will miss the rest of the season.
— Tim Bontemps (@TimBontemps) March 3, 2020
ESPN Sources: Sixers star Ben Simmons is still undergoing treatment and evaluation on his back and there’s expected to be a course of action decided upon soon. This isn’t a day-to-day injury; Simmons will miss time. How much time? That’s still unclear.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 24, 2020
Joel Embiid left the 76ers game against the Cavaliers for the locker room after a shoulder injury, only to return to the bench and then exit for the locker room again. Now he’s ruled out with a left shoulder sprain.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 27, 2020
Tonight’s @mayoclinicsport Injury Report:
Karl-Anthony Towns (Left Wrist Fracture) is OUT at New Orleans. pic.twitter.com/QhKGX6m4f4
— Minnesota Timberwolves (@Timberwolves) March 3, 2020
Case in point: the NBA tipped off two primetime games on Tuesday night on TNT. They were supposed to be marquee, can’t-miss matchups when the schedules were made before the season.
Unfortunately, injuries snatched the luster out of both.
Final from LA. pic.twitter.com/uBe7kde5gC
— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) March 4, 2020
Ever seen a Sixers graphic featuring Shake Milton?
Graphic artists had no choice considering last night’s Lakers-76ers tilt was missing both Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons.
As for the early TNT game, Caris Levert saved the day for fans with a remarkable 51-point effort.
However, this was supposed to be Kemba Walker vs. Kyrie Irving. Jayson Tatum vs. Kevin Durant.
— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) March 4, 2020
But those aren’t the only games that had injuries affect the fan viewing experience.
🐺 TOTAL PACK EFFORT 🐺@mbeasy5 – 28 pts. , 11-13 FG@dloading – 23 pts., 8 ast.@IamJJ16 – 19 pts., 6 reb., 5 ast., 2 stl.@itsmclaughlin11 – 13 pts., 6-7 FG, +17@NazReid – 13 pts., 14 reb., 3 stl., 2 blk. pic.twitter.com/2LkyFCb1UI
— Minnesota Timberwolves (@Timberwolves) March 4, 2020
We were supposed to see the New Orleans Pelicans and this year’s No. 1 pick Zion Williamson take on the Minnesota Timberwolves and former No. 1 pick Karl-Anthony Towns.
But Towns is sidelined with a fractured wrist.
Also on Tuesday night, the defending Western Conference champion Golden State Warriors traveled to take on Denver.
Of course, you guessed it: one team was lacking its star power.
The Warriors have assigned guard Stephen Curry and forward Alen Smailagić to the team’s G League affiliate in Santa Cruz. Curry, who has been out since suffering a broken left hand on October 30, will practice with the team in Santa Cruz today. pic.twitter.com/rZjOAHb4iW
— Warriors PR (@WarriorsPR) March 2, 2020
Steph Curry was supposed to return to the Warriors’ lineup on March 1, after suffering a broken hand earlier this season. But he’s still recovering.
Golden State is also without Curry’s partner-in-crime, who hasn’t played at all this season.
light work for KT11 pic.twitter.com/J8LFJcJB0q
— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) March 1, 2020
Klay Thompson looks to be moving well after that torn ACL suffered in the 2018-19 NBA Finals. Still, while he’s back on the floor, he’s not back in the game.
The Warriors have this week made it official and fully ruled out Klay Thompson (left knee) for the remainder of the season, league sources say
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) February 21, 2020
There has been an abundance of storylines that have kept the league in a good spot this year.
Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks are chasing 70 wins. LeBron’s resurgence in Los Angeles. The emergence of young stars such as Williamson, Ja Morant, Trae Young, Luka Doncic, and Jayson Tatum.
But we can’t ignore the fact that injuries to the league’s biggest stars have left a scar on this season.
Source: Fox Sports