I feel really bad for OKC fans right now. We knew the Sonics karma would bite them one day, but this is a tough time to have to feel it. Westbrook, one of my personal favorite players to watch because of how hard he plays and his explosive style, tore some knee ligaments – quick aside, anyone else concerned that Westbrook and Rose, the two hyper-athletic point guards of the future both tore up their knees playing that super-aggressive hard cutting high jumping style? – and is down for the count and out indefinitely.
What does this mean for the Miami Heat’s 2nd consecutive NBA championship? Well it just got even easier. Let’s count the injuries, shall we?
Eastern Bumps in the Road:
Chicago Bulls – Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah*
Boston Celtics – Rajon Rondo, Jared Sullinger
Indiana Pacers – Danny Granger
New York Knicks – Tyson Chandler*, Amare Stoudemire
Western Actual Contenders:
OKC Thunder – Russell Westbrook
Denver Nuggets – Danilo Gallinari, Ty Lawson*
*(playing, but not healthy)
Basically the Heat have a free path to Finals where they will meet either the Spurs or Clippers, who were both good but not the best in the West this year.
This Westbrook injury is exactly the opposite of what happened in the 1993 playoffs. The winningest team in the West, Phoenix, lost games 1 and 2 against a crummy 8th seed Lakers team with Kevin Johnson sidelined (groin pull I think). Then KJ came back to the Suns, and they swept the next three games, won the West, and pushed the Bulls as hard as any of their Finals opponents ever did.
Congrats to the June Spurs for making another NBA Finals and the June Heat for winning another chip.