They are the bane of any team, the crippler of even formidable contenders. They are injuries, as fickle and happenstance -- and heartbreaking -- as any roulette wheel And as we pass the quarter mark of the 2009-10 season, a number of teams have been ravaged by them, while others have been spared their wrath. Here's a look at how injuries have wreaked havoc across the league.
Because the Blazers had as much depth as any club heading into the season, they have enough to compete for a playoff spot, if not a championship. Backup center
The carnage of big bodies has simply sped up the chaos in the Bay Area, as the Warriors seek to lap the rest of the league in pace of play. They may lead the league in steals, but their break-neck offense ranks a woeful 21st in the NBA in efficiency and last in rebounding at both ends of the court.
Brought in for defense,
Well, now that they've got
(All stats are through Dec. 16.)
• Injuries to
• A couple of other superglue-guy forwards belong in the sixth man discussion. Houston's
• But if you're looking for a sixth man who has had the most positive impact on his team's performance, check out the much-derided, fuzzy-haired, flop-oriented Cavs forward
That's a lot more impressive than the modest individual statistics (10.8 points, 7.5 rebounds in 29.3 minutes per game) that the fifth-year power forward from Brazil has posted and it's because Varejao's defense has been superb thus far this season. His rotations are quick and aggressive and his rebounding -- his signature tap-outs on the offensive glass but also his jousting for inside position -- is vastly improved.
• Old school hoops fans grimace at the preponderance of three-pointers in today's game, but it is hard to ignore how important the inside-outside dynamic has become in the modern NBA offense. Still, even the most efficient shooting teams can become besotted with perimeter treys and the Orlando Magic are a Exhibit A. Currently fourth in the NBA in
• After watching
• The dirty little secret in Utah is that a front line of Carlos Boozer and
• Among the woes for San Antonio is
• It's become too easy slap the superstar label on