Deadspin looks at all the injuries that have affected the NBA playoffs

Deadspin looks at all the injuries that have affected the NBA playoffs

LeBron and Chris Paul and Kyrie - just a few of those who have gone down

Kyrie Irving goes down in the first half of Game 4 of the Eastern Conference playoffs.
Kyrie Irving goes down in the first half of Game 4 of the Eastern Conference playoffs.
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When Kyrie Irving went down with an ankle injury halfway through the second quarter of Sunday’s Bucks and Nets Game 4 matchup, basketball fans simultaneously let out a loud groan. The injury bug had hit another star in a season that may be remembered for who was left standing, instead of who was the best of the best.

Also, ABC, we did not need 84 replays of the injury. No one wants to see an ankle turned sideways that many times. C’mon, children were watching. 

With the addition of the play-in game tournament after it was an experiment in The Bubble, the postseason field includes 20 teams now instead of the usual 16. Due to coming off the shortest off-season in league history — 71 days — it’s no surprise that injuries have been the storyline all year. Guys that played in Orlando didn’t get their proper rest, and the ones that were watching from home were out of basketball for the longest periods of their lives.

As we inch closer to learning which teams will join the Suns in the conference finals, here’s a look at all the teams that were snakebitten by injuries this postseason.

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Eastern Conference - Boston Celtics

Eastern Conference - Boston Celtics

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For a team that has been viewed as having a young roster with a ton of potential – for years – the C’s biggest rival this season was injuries. Kemba Walker had a bad knee that limited him, Jaylen Brown had season-ending wrist surgery in May, and Marcus Smart (ankle) and Robert Williams (toe/leg) were also dinged up.

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Eastern Conference - Philadelphia 76ers

Eastern Conference - Philadelphia 76ers

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Joel Embiid is playing on a torn small lateral meniscus in his right knee. Only time will tell if the gamble is worth it.

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Eastern Conference - Washington Wizards

Eastern Conference - Washington Wizards

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Never forget that Russell Westbrook was playing with a bad ankle and Brad Beal had a strained left hamstring. Now, that doesn’t mean that they would have upset the Sixers if healthy, but it could have made things more interesting.

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Eastern Conference - Charlotte Hornets

Eastern Conference - Charlotte Hornets

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While the Hornets’ tenure “in the playoffs” was brief, I bet Hornets fans believe that they might not have been in the play-in game at all if LaMelo Ball wouldn’t have fractured his wrist back in March, giving them a better chance at being one of the top six seeds.

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Eastern Conference - Atlanta Hawks

Eastern Conference - Atlanta Hawks

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With Cam Reddish being out since February with a bad Achilles, the Hawks have been without starter DeAndre Hunter for their second-round series with Philly, as he’s out with a bad knee.

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Eastern Conference - Milwaukee Bucks

Eastern Conference - Milwaukee Bucks

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Tucker’s defense against Kevin Durant isn’t the only reason he’s starting against the Nets. Mike Budenholzer had to shuffle his lineup since a foot injury shut Donte DiVincenzo down in Game 3 of Milwaukee’s first-round series with Miami.

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Eastern Conference - New York Knicks

Eastern Conference - New York Knicks

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Hawks center Clint Capela had a really good series against the Knicks as he averaged a double-double, but Knicks fans will point out that they were without Mitchell Robinson, who fractured his foot in March.

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Eastern Conference - Brooklyn Nets

Eastern Conference - Brooklyn Nets

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Kyrie Irving’s ankle injury on Sunday was devastating to basketball fans because injuries have stopped us from seeing just how great, and entertaining, this team could be. With no word on when James Harden will return from his hamstring injury, it’s almost as if people forgot that the Nets also lost Spencer Dinwiddie to an ACL in December.

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Western Conference - Golden State Warriors

Western Conference - Golden State Warriors

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We all know that the Dubs were without the services of Klay Thompson — again — but they were also without Kelly Oubre (wrist) and No. 2 overall pick James Wiseman (knee) in the play-in games.

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Western Conference - Los Angeles Lakers

Western Conference - Los Angeles Lakers

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Lebron’s high ankle sprain and Anthony Davis’ knee and groin injuries are what ultimately did the Lakers in this season. Even Alex Caruso had a bad ankle.

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Western Conference - Utah Jazz

Western Conference - Utah Jazz

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While most fans are paying attention to the ridiculous run that Donovan Mitchell has been on — as he limped off the floor at the end of Game 3 — it feels like people have forgotten that Mike Conley has been out with a bad hamstring, which is an injury that bothered him all season.

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Western Conference - Los Angeles Clippers

Western Conference - Los Angeles Clippers

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That “non-center” lineup that Ty Lue has been using against the Jazz isn’t because he wants to play small ball. It’s because Serge Ibaka had back surgery last week.

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Western Conference - Dallas Mavericks

Western Conference - Dallas Mavericks

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After a valiant effort, Luka and the Mavs fell to the Clippers in the first round, as he didn’t have enough help on offense. Having JJ Redick on the floor probably would have helped, but the veteran sharpshooter was sidelined with a bad heel.

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Western Conference - Denver Nuggets

Western Conference - Denver Nuggets

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Jamal Murray was one of the best stories in The Bubble last season due to his postseason play. That story didn’t have a part two due to Murray tearing his ACL in April.

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Western Conference - Phoenix Suns

Western Conference - Phoenix Suns

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The Suns are rolling and look damn near unbeatable. But, let’s not forget that Chris Paul hurt his shoulder against the Lakers, as it will be something to keep an eye on along the way.

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Western Conference - Portland Trail Blazers

Western Conference - Portland Trail Blazers

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Zach Collins’ ankle has been a bummer as it limited him to only 11 games in the 2019-20 season, and sidelined him again this season when Dame Lillard needed all the help he could get.

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