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While injuries are always some factor in the playoffs, to see them become such a prominent and immediate factor this season has been startling and frustrating for NBA fans. On Sunday in back-to-back games to start the day, Ja Morant and Giannis Antetokounmpo could not finish their respective games due to injuries.
Neither injury was a short-term one, and both are going to be factors moving forward into the remainder of the respective series.
This week’s SB Nation Reacts survey focuses on not just those injuries, but the numerous ones around the league. First, fans were asked which injury is going to have the biggest impact on that player’s team.
Both the Bucks and Grizzlies lost Game 1, and both aren’t in great situations moving forward. Morant was ruled out for Game 2 as a result of his right hand injury, while Giannis was listed as doubtful before being upgraded to questionable for Milwaukee’s Game 2 against the Heat.
It shouldn’t be shocking, then, that the majority of fans think the playoffs are already being derailed by injuries barely five days in.
The Bucks entered the postseason as one of the favorites — and perhaps the favorites — for the NBA title. They were a dominant machine in the second half of the season. And while the Grizzlies were hardly firing on all cylinders, they did enter the playoffs as the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference.
Factoring that into account, nearly half of fans think the NBA title is going to be impacted by injuries.
For all of the obvious reasons, I hope we get to see Giannis and Ja back on the court again these playoffs. The game is more enjoyable with the best players out there and injuries being a determining factor in any playoff series feels unfair.
And let’s hope that the early injuries are not a trend for how the rest of the postseason plays out.
You can follow Jacob on Twitter at @JacobRude.