StrategySeptember 7, 2010

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INJURY ANALYSIS – Players 1 to 30 - 5 comments


When preparing for drafts, in regards to injuries, the best way to stay informed both before and during the NBA season is to follow along and participate in the Café’s “Injuries & Player Updates” forum. The second best way would be to read, study, and memorize this article.

For your upcoming fantasy basketball draft, it should be helpful to know which players are more injury-prone than others. Or, at least, which players are going into the season with an injury. Merely being aware of injury risks when drafting and assembling your team can provide many benefits over the course of the season.

Here at the Café, there is a “Consensus Rankings” thread at the “Fantasy Basketball Leftovers” forum. There, participants are voting on players in order to “Rank the NBA players based on a Single-Season, Traditional nine-category Fantasy League (either H2H or Roto).” Based on these rankings, I have categorized the Top 30 players into various groups, depending on their injury status. I included their ranking in parenthesis.

Group A – No Worries
Kevin Durant (1)
LeBron James (3)
Dirk Nowitzki (4)
Dwyane Wade (5)
Pau Gasol (9)
Amare Stoudemire (11)
Brook Lopez (13)
Josh Smith (14)
Jason Kidd (16)
Al Horford (18)
Chauncey Billups (19)
Rajon Rondo (21)
Steve Nash (24)
Andre Iguodala (25)
David West (27)
Dwight Howard (28)
Joe Johnson (29)
Manu Ginobili (30)

Group B – Almost Group A

Chris Paul (2) – After two healthy years, Paul missed some time last year with a torn meniscus in his left knee, had arthroscopic surgery, and only played in 45 games. He should be fine this year as I have not seen anything saying otherwise. Also, the Hornets traded away Darren Collison (who filled in wonderfully while Chris Paul was out) so I have to believe that the Hornets believe he will be OK. See here.

Kobe Bryant (6) – During last year’s NBA Playoffs, Bryant had discomfort in his knees and they were drained a few times. He had arthroscopic surgery in July but is expected to be ready for training camp. See here.

Stephen Curry (8) – Curry played in 80 games last year (his rookie year) but hurt his ankle in a Team USA event. He should be fine, and supposedly doctors have told him that there is no structural damage to ligaments or tendons in his left ankle. Here is a link.

Deron Williams (10) – Generally a warrior, there is nothing to worry about here. Williams is taking the summer off from USA Basketball due to “lingering issues with his right wrist.” Check it out.

David Lee (12) – Lee injured his right middle finger during a Team USA practice this summer. Surgery was avoided, but he was scheduled to miss four to six weeks starting July 21st. That would give him an estimated return of sometime in early to mid-August. He shouldn’t miss any of the NBA season. It should be noted that he has played in exactly 81 games in each of the past three seasons.

Carmelo Anthony (15) – Over the past four years, Anthony has played in over 69 games just once. Just last year, body parts such as his hand, elbow, knee, and ankle kept him out of games. He did play every game from February 9 onward, including the first round of the playoffs.

Gerald Wallace (17) – Wallace suited up for career-high 76 games last year. Prior to that, he averaged 65 games played for each of the previous four years. Wallace hasn’t earned the nickname “Crash” by taking it easy.

Chris Bosh (22) – Nothing specific to mention. Just be aware that he has averaged 72 games over his seven-year career. I realize that most players miss time on an annual basis but Bosh has only played over 70 games once in the past four years. If Miami plays well and locks up a playoff spot early, there is a chance that they rest their star players as a precautionary measure.

Al Jefferson (23) – In February 2009 Jefferson went down for the season due to a torn ACL in his right knee. Last season, he missed a few games that were not injury related. Apparently, the Utah Jazz felt the injury was definitely in his rear-view mirror as they traded for him this past off-season. Here is a link.

Group C – Something To Think About

Danny Granger (7) – Granger dislocated his right ring finger during a Team USA practice. It is not serious but he will be out for a few days. More importantly, last year Granger had problems in his right foot (a torn plantar fascia) and in his left knee. His previous two years only saw him play 67 and 62 games. Take a look here and here.

Brandon Roy (20) – After two relatively healthy seasons, Roy played in only 65 games last year due to a strained hamstring. In last year’s playoffs Roy also missed time after knee surgery. Most recently, Roy said that he is “back to normal.” Here is a link, another, and one more.

Nene (26) – Nene has not missed many games in the past two years. In the four years before that, however, he played in 55, 1, 64, and 16 games. Nene has had some health problems in that time period. He tore his ACL. He tore a ligament in his thumb. A tumor was removed. More recently, in last year’s playoffs, Nene had to miss the final game due to a knee sprain. Finally, this summer, he is having knee issues.

I have been participating in fantasy sports since the good old days (paper, pencil, box scores in newspapers, etc.). Basketball and baseball are my favorites though I've dabbled (without success) in football and hockey. You name it, I've done it (standard/custom, serpentine/auction, live/computer/message board, public/private/winners, etc.).
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5 Responses to “INJURY ANALYSIS – Players 1 to 30”

  1. User avatar DVauthrin says:

    Nicely done. That said, I am a bit surprised Gasol, Amare, and Manu made it into the don’t worry tier.

  2. Skippyoz says:

    @ Dvau -

    Amare has played in 82, 79, 53, and 82 games the past four years. The year he played in 53 was due to an eye injury. I know the Knicks usually make terrible decisions, but they were willing to sign him to a huge contract.

    For Gasol, he was close, but from January 15th and onward he played in every game (including a long Finals run). The fact that he is not playing in international play this summer (hopefully to rest) gives me reason not to worry.

    Manu has three years of 75 games in the past four. Two years ago he missed time, but he always seems like a warrior who plays through the little things.

  3. User avatar geodbear says:

    Hi Skip, I too was suprised by Amare in the no worries section. While the Knicks did sign him to a huge contract, it was also because the Suns weren’t willing to go beyond 4 years (? not sure about the exact number) because of conconcerns and wanted incentive clauses. From what I read, the eye will remain a concern for the rest of his career as well as his knees. Maybe the concern is more “mental” and we should look at the facts that he did play 82 games last season and that it’s been 4 years since his knee surgery with no missed time do it. It’s a good example of how perception may not be in line with reality.

  4. bucko158 says:

    Very Good Article.

    I’d move Manu, Amare and Pau Gasol off that top list though.

    Amare- Just because someone gave him a huge contract doesn’t mean his eyes aren’t a factor. I can’t see how you can claim “no worries”

    Manu- Although he usually manages to play games, he always has something going on. In March he hurt his back, in April he broke his nose. Digging a little further…. some more injuries outside of the regular season…. He injured his groin and an ankle during the 2008 playoffs……He re-injured his ankle in the Beijing Olympics….

    Pau Gasol has missed 15+ games 3 of the past 4 seasons. (And 4 of the past 6). He has had multiple injuries to his hamstrings(not a typical injury). Saying there are no worries here seems a little much. You put Carmello in the 2nd group because “Over the past four years, Anthony has played in over 69 games just once.” Well Gasol played over 66 games just once in that same span, not to mention the fact that Carmello also played more total games in that span.

  5. Skippyoz says:

    @ DVau, geo, and bucko…

    As if I didn’t have enough things to worry about, now I have to worry about Amare, Manu, and Pau? I completely understand the Pau situation and, to me, he was close. I could stand to listen to more about Manu although it seems like he almost enjoys playing through pain. I am still not worried about Amare for this year. Perhaps in a dynasty league, I would be worried about Amare’s knees or Amare’s eyesight. This year, the only thing that may worry me is the dismal Knicks franchise and not playing with Nash.


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