Injuries plague competitiveness of NBA

Peter Ha, Staff Writer

Injuries have plagued many teams in the NBA early this season, especially the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Thunder were looking at a possible high seeding in this years playoffs, but now are short handed with two all-star players missing time because of injuries.

Unfortunately, prior to the start of the season Kevin Durant was diagnosed with a Jones fracture in his right foot, which will force him to miss anywhere from six to eight weeks, possibly more. This is a huge blow for the Thunder because Durant was coming off a MVP season in which he averaged 32 points, 5.5 assists and 7.4 rebounds per game. Durant is arguably one of the best players in the NBA with respect to Lebron James, Kobe Bryant and Carmelo Anthony. All faith was left in Westbrook’s hands when Durant went down.

With Durant already lost, in the second game of the season the Thunder lost Russell Westbrook, who suffered a broken bone in his right hand. In the opening game of the season Westbrook scored 38 points, with six assists, three rebounds, and three steals. No doubt Westbrook was the man to step up due to the absence of Durant. Last season Westbrook already missed 36 games because of a knee injury. The timetable for Westbrook’s return in not firm, but doctors estimated that Westbrook will be out for at least four weeks.

This season the Thunder is 1-3 with the only winning game with Westbrook. Now that Westbrook and Durant are both sidelined with injuries, the Thunder looks to be in a bad position in its attempt to stay atop the NBA’s West Division. The West Division is a very tough division to play in with many competitive teams fighting for a playoff spot. Although it is too soon to say that the Thunder is in trouble without its two all-star players, it definitely will be tough for a them to continue to be competitive as long as Durant and Westbrook are both out. If either player returns, it is questionable if they will be as competitive as they were. The Oklahoma City Thunder for now will need players like Serge Ibaka, Kendrick Perkins, and Reggie Jackson to step up and lead the team.