Donte DiVincenzo may just be a role player on the Milwaukee Bucks, but a team with NBA Finals aspirations needs all the depth it can get. In Game 3 of the Bucks’ first round series against the Miami Heat, a tendon injury suffered by DiVincenzo sidelined him for the remainder of the playoffs. Other Milwaukee role players will have to try to make up for his 10.4 points and 5.8 rebounds per game off of the bench.
Mitchell was held out of Game 1 against the Memphis Grizzlies after an ankle injury derailed the last stretch of his regular season. He expressed his anger with the decision after the Jazz lost Game 1 to the play-in tournament winner. It is unlikely the Jazz will hold him out of future games, as he is the focal point of the entire Utah offense. But keep an eye on his ankle injury, as if it is aggravated, the Jazz’s chances of making a deep run could be dashed completely.
Doncic is already putting together a playoff resume that rivals that of all-time NBA greats. In ten playoff games total, he has scored over 30 points six times and over 40 points three times. He, alone, was digging the Los Angeles’ Clippers 2021 playoff grave before a neck issue put the rest of his playoffs in doubt. A nerve problem in his neck apparently caused so much pain for Doncic that coach Rick Carlisle stated that he could not turn left. Doncic is available to play, but is not confirmed to suit up.
Embiid’s injury woes continue as a bad knee kept him out of Game 4 against the Washington Wizards. This is yet another in a long string of injuries that the center has suffered in his career. The severity of the injury is unknown, but speculation runs wild. Will this keep him out of more games due to his brittle history? Or will Embiid brush it off to continue to garner MVP consideration?
Chris Paul is another MVP candidate and is the heart and soul of the Suns’ team. Averaging almost nine assists per game in the regular season, Paul is the quarterback of the offense and is what allows Devin Booker to show off his shooting touch. He refuses to sit, however. Head coach Monty Williams requested he sit out Game 4 and Paul refused. Whether or not he continues to play or succumbs to his shoulder injury is up in the air. The Suns need him in a bad way to win the series, though.
Much like Embiid, Anthony Davis is a big man who cannot seem to stay healthy. He missed the second half of Game 4 against the Suns after leaving with a groin injury. Injuries were already besetting him throughout the regular season, as he played half of the games. A knee sprain was his most recent injury before the groin issue popped up. Davis is now day-to-day for the series, but could likely return in a major capacity if the Lakers make it out of the first round.
After suffering an ankle injury in the regular season, LeBron James admitted that he would never be at 100 percent for the remainder of his career. The ankle injury is a bit nagging, as James aggravated it late in the regular season. His numbers are still insane, but with the injury James cannot do it all by himself. Davis and the rest of his team need to step up if the Lakers plan on defending their title.
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