Last week, I took over Friday’s episodes of Locked On NBA along with my new co-host, Anthony Irwin. Every Friday I will be spending 30 minutes talking about the league, latest trends, and the latest games while tackling some big-picture topics. The show isn’t directly Nuggets related but, as a Nuggets columnist, I will almost always provide some Nuggets insights into my analysis of the league at large (unlike some other national podcasts which will not be named).
This week, Anthony and I looked at which injuries have had the biggest impact on the season and which teams have been most affected by those injuries. As we researched for this list, it really became apparent just how many injuries to major, all-star caliber players have happened this season. The season actually began with a major injury, as Gordon Hayward shredded his ankle in horrific fashion on the season’s opening game. Perhaps it was a sign to come.
I argue that Paul Millsap was the 3d most impactful injury of he season, league-wide, thanks to the amount of games he missed, the impact he has on the team, the amount of time it will take to integrate him into the offense, and because of how meaningful it was for Denver to sign him in the offseason. The timing of MIllsap’s injury means that the Denver Nuggets will likely spend half of the season (over the course of two stints) trying to get acquainted with Millsap without reaping the benefits of that “getting-to-know-you” period. The Nuggets appeared to have figured some things out in mid-November, right before his injury but have lost all momentum in that regard and appear to be starting from scratch once again.
Find out which two players I ranked ahead of him and which high-profile players I ranked behind him in this week’s episode.