It's time for Portland to rebuild
Hello darkness my old friend...
As the season has only handful of games left, many playoff bound teams are preparing themselves for a long run. Unfortunately, the post season is going to again be shaped by various injuries to key players.
Kyrie's issue with his knee is nothing new and when it was reported he'd have surgery, Boston fans everywhere clenched their jerseys. On the plus side, he's expected to only miss the first round of the playoffs. The bad part is Boston isn't as good offensively without him in their rotation. Boston is also without Marcus Smart who gives them that X factor defensively and while he does love to flop, his importance to both ends of the court can't be overlooked. Boston is looking at a first round matchup vs Miami and then they'll meet a Cleveland team and a MVP level Lebron James. Hopefully Kyrie and Smart are back for what looks to be a tough second round.
Despite Curry expected to miss the first round and McCaw's scary fall vs the Kings, Golden State is fine for now. Golden State can handle their first round matchup vs Minnesota without Curry and probably survive vs a second round matchup of either Portland or Utah. Past that, they'll need a healthy Steph to take down a Houston Rockets team that looks like a juggernaut.
New Orleans has managed to stay afloat despite losing Cousins. The Pelicans currently sit 8th in the West and if they manage to limp into the playoffs they'll face a Houston Rockets juggernaut. Without DMC this Pelicans team will be swept; with him they might have been able to have made it a respectable sweep.
Though he is expected to be back before the first round begins, the possibility of losing Joel Embiid to none other than Markelle Fultz will destroy the 76ers progress this season. Philadelphia looks to be taking on a surprising Pacers squad and they'll need all hands on deck to make a post season push.
Kawhi Leonard's injury has been well documented and debated on over and over all season. As it stands now I don't expect to see him grace the hardwood until next season. Without Leonard, the Spurs are going to be left with LaMarcus Aldridge carrying an old team through Oklahoma City and a ridiculous Russell Westbrook. Let us not forget that San Antonio, with a healthy Kawhi, was putting a beatdown on Golden State last year.