The NBA playoffs are underway, and there have been no shortage of injuries around the league that have impacted several first-round games. The flurry of injuries is similar to what we saw in the regular season, and some team personnel members around the league reportedly felt it’s a direct result of the compressed 2020-21 schedule, as the league wanted to fit in a 72-game schedule despite the season not starting until late December.
Whatever the reason, virtually every team in the league has had to deal with injury issues, and some of them have carried over into the postseason. To keep you updated, here’s a running list of all the major injuries in the NBA, and how they are affecting teams and players ahead of the playoffs.
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To see every team’s current injury situation, click here.
During Game 4 of the Philadelphia 76ers-Washington Wizards series, MVP finalist Joel Embiid went down hard during a drive in the second quarter on Monday night. Embiid immediately went back to the locker room and was ruled out of the remainder of the game, in which the Sixers lost, with a right knee injury. After the game, coach Doc Rivers said his star big man would have an MRI on Tuesday, as was unsure if he would be available for Game 5.
The Los Angeles Lakers suffered a huge blow during Game 4 of their series against the Phoenix Suns, when All-Star big man Anthony Davis went down with a groin injury in the second quarter. He was ruled out for the remainder of that game, and although he’s listed as day-to-day, it’s been reported that it’s unlikely that he’ll play in Game 5 Tuesday night.
Kemba Walker was ruled out for Game 4 of the Boston Celtics playoffs series against the Brooklyn Nets, and it appears as though he may miss Game 5 as well with the same knee injury. Walker has been hampered with injuries all season long, most recently an oblique strain at the end of April before the postseason started. Not having Walker again isn’t ideal for a Boston team that is staring down elimination in Game 5 on Tuesday night.
The Washington Wizards’ Game 4 win over the heavily favored Philadelphia 76ers in their first-round playoff series on Monday night was bittersweet, as sharpshooting forward Davis Bertans went down with a calf strain in the third quarter and did not return to the game. The news gets even worse, as Bertans is expected to be sidelined for 4-to-6 weeks with what’s now being described as a grade two calf strain. With the Wizards looking to avoid elimination Wednesday night, it’s likely we’ve seen the last of Bertans this season.
The Lakers were without Kentavious Caldwell-Pope for Game 4 in their loss to the Suns as the shooting guard was dealing with soreness in his left knee. He sustained the injury in Game 3, and missed a majority of the second half in that contest. He tested out the knee prior to Game 4, but ultimately didn’t feel he was ready to go. Ahead of Game 5, Pope is listed as questionable, and his status could change depending on how he feels before tip-off Tuesday night.
Right shoulder contusion — Probable for Game 5
Although Chris Paul hasn’t missed a game in the postseason so far, he’s been dealing with some discomfort in his shoulder after injuring it in Game 1 of the Phoenix Suns’ series against the Lakers. At times he’s struggled to generate power with his right arm due to the injury, but in Game 4 he appeared to look closer to fulls strength after putting up a team-high 18 points and nine assists in the Suns’ win over the Lakers to even up the series. He’s listed as probable for Game 5, but it’s still something to keep an eye on as the series progresses.
Will Barton has yet to make his postseason debut this season, as he’s been dealing with a hamstring strain that has kept him out since April 24. Coach Mike Malone said after Monday’s practice that Barton “still hasn’t checked everything off the training staff’s checklist,” and has “no idea” when he’ll be ready to go.”
Strained plantar fascia — Out until at least June 6
The Brooklyn Nets lost Jeff Green to a strained plantar fascia at the end of May, and he’s expected to be sidelined for at least 10 days. So far, Green’s injury hasn’t significantly impacted Brooklyn’s performance in the first round as the Nets have been dominant against the Celtics. However, if Green’s injury lingers past the 10 days and into the next round, it could be problematic.
Clippers big man Serge Ibaka has been sidelined for the past two games with a back injury that’s bothered him throughout the regular season. He missed 30 consecutive games prior to the playoffs with a back injury, and hasn’t been able to be 100 percent to get on the court for the last two games. It’s still unclear on his status for Game 5 in L.A., but it’s clear the Clippers are better with him in the lineup.
The Knicks are down 3-1 in their playoff series against the Atlanta Hawks, and it’s evident this team misses Mitchell Robinson’s presence down in the post against Clint Capela. Unfortunately, it doesn’t sound like there’s been any new news on his fractured foot, which has kept him sidelined since March 27. He’s been listed as “out” for each game in the playoffs, and coach Tom Thibodeau said on May 26 that the team is “not taking any chances with him,” regarding his rehab process. We may not see Robinson in the postseason this year if the Knicks don’t advance past the first round, but considering New York is building for the future, it’s understandable for this team’s long-term outlook.
The Milwaukee Bucks advanced to the second round of the postseason after sweeping the Miami Heat, but lost shooting guard Donte DiVincenzo in the process to a tendon injury in his left foot which will sideline him for the rest of the season. The injury occurred in the second quarter of Game 3, with Milwaukee in full command against Miami. DiVincenzo drove past Goran Dragic, who fouled him, but stopped in pain before going up for the shot. It could prove to be a huge blow for the Bucks as they continue on through the playoffs, as Milwaukee doesn’t have a ton of depth this season.