If Not For Injuries, Nets Would Be A Playoff Team
Added by Deshawn Jelani on April 18, 2012.
Would the Nets have made the NBA playoffs this year if not for the rash of injuries?
Although the New Jersey Nets carry the worst record in the Atlantic division, the 2011-2012 season could have been more promising if it had not been afflicted with so many injuries from key players.
The Nets, who currently hold a dismal 22-40 record, have been affected by several injuries to important players all season long. Many, including majority owner Mikhail Prokhorov, believe that, if it wasn’t for these injuries, the Nets would be in the playoffs this April.
The most disappointing injury came when Brook Lopez broke his right foot in the beginning of the NBA lockout-shortened season and missed the Nets first 32 games. Lopez came back against the Milwaukee Bucks after the time missed, but twisted his right ankle five games after his debut. With that, Lopez was done for the 2011-2012 season.
After the frustrating loss of Lopez, injuries from other key players came as well. Damion James was lost due to right foot surgery earlier this year. Jordan Farmer, who had been bothered by a sore groin injury all through March and missed several games in a row, was announced to be out for the season. Shawne Williams, who was brought in as a shooter (but eventually was traded to Portland), endured a broken left foot injury that ended his season. Sheldon Williams suffered a right eye injury during the season which put him out several games, and Anthony Morrow was afflicted by a bruised right shoulder. Keith Bogans also had a season-ending injury this year.
All-star point guard Deron Williams also fell victim to the injury bug after missing Monday night’s 101-98 loss to the Miami Heat due to a sore right calf, according to the Nets injury report. He will miss Wednesday night’s game versus the Knicks for the same injury. Williams, after colliding with Boston Celtics big man Greg Stiemsma, suffered the injury on April 14. He had fought off the flu earlier this season during season play as well. Williams has led the Nets in points and assists per game this season.
Small forward Gerald Wallace is questionable in the game at home against the Knicks with a strained right hamstring. He has missed the past four games with this injury.
Head coach Avery Johnson expects improvement for next season. When asked about next year, Johnson stated, “I’ll speak for us, hopefully, we’ll never be injured like this again.”
The Nets have started 22 different lineups this season and, through the first 56 games of the season, have missed more than 200 games due to illness, injury, and personal reasons (an NBA-high).
The Nets have been riddled with other injuries as well. Still, this team managed to win 22 games, which puts them behind only three teams in the playoff race. It is apparent that had this team remained healthy, they certainly could have fought through the season to win 10 more games and got into the playoffs instead of missing the playoffs for a fifth straight season.