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League-wide, games missed because of injury increased 31% over last year

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In this series, we track the injuries and examine the causes and effects of the unrelenting injury wave.

Golden State Warriors v Chicago Bulls
Jordan Bell has been out of the rotation since going down with a leg injury on Jan. 17 during a game against the Bulls at United Center in Chicago.
Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Are fans imagining things, or are players really dropping like flies to catastrophic injuries?

DeMarcus Cousin. Gordon Hayward. Kawhi Leonard. Jeremy Lin. Kristaps Porzingis.

The list of marquee players whose seasons were cut short due to injury has lengthened by the day, and the injuries continue to be serious: ruptured tendons, dislocated joints, ligament tears, fractured bones.

Many of the more cringe-worthy injuries (Isaiah Canaan, Kris Dunn) have occurred midseason, one after another. With Knicks’ star Porzingis going down, too, pundits and fans have begun to pontificate about whether there actually has been a league-wide increase in injuries — or if it only seems that a spike is happening due to the number of players who have gone down in rapid succession.

ESPN’s Rachel Nichols, citing a source that tracks injuries, reported a 31% increase in the number of games players have missed due to injury so far in the 2017-18 NBA season over this time last year.

The types of injuries that have taken down big-name players guarantee long recovery times. Therefore, teams were engaged in frenzied activity right up until yesterday's trade deadline — moving pieces to shore up rosters in the wake of so many squads thinned by broken, torn or ruptured this or that.

Players essential to Golden State’s success have missed time this season due to injury, including Jordan Bell, Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston. The Warriors are also experiencing performance-compromising fatigue that has spiraled the team to multiple blowout losses. In other words, these are, sadly, the right conditions for a devastating injury to happen.

Will the Warriors’ organization move some guys who haven’t been cutting it lately and bring in fresh blood as a preventative measure?


Coming soon ...

Part III: Why are NBA players getting hurt at an alarming rate this season?