NBA Power Rankings – Preseason Week 2
After two weeks, it feels good to be the New Orleans Pelicans and Sacramento Kings and not so good to be the Indiana Pacers or Milwaukee Bucks. Those four teams are amongst the biggest risers and fallers this week.
Entering play on Wednesday, each NBA team has played at least three games and some have given their fans more to look forward to than others.
One thing we certainly are not looking forward to, though?
A number of the league’s players are already dropping like flies. Although the regular season does not begin until October 29, injuries are already becoming a recurring theme.
Over the past week, Trey Burke of the Utah Jazz—the favorite to win the Rookie of the Year Award—underwent surgery to repair a fracture of his right index finger. Burke was considered one of the more NBA ready prospects in last June’s draft and was expected to begin the Salt Lake youth movement alongside Enes Kanter and Derrick Favors.
That will still happen, it is just unfortunate that it will take eight to 12 weeks longer to commence than initially expected.
Out in Orlando, Victor Oladipo may have a good opportunity to steal some rookie thunder.
Meanwhile, the Detroit Pistons were on the receiving end of some disturbing news when, on Tuesday, it was reported that Brandon Jennings would be out for the next three weeks. Jennings will be immobilized because of an issue with one of his wisdom teeth, believe it or not.
Add those two injury casualties to the concerns over Derrick Rose’s knee and Carmelo Anthony’s shoulder as well as the still-mending Rajon Rondo and Russell Westbrook, and the NBA universe collectively finds itself somewhat focused on injuries. That is before even mentioning Greg Oden and Danny Granger and the impact that they may have on the Miami HEAT and Pacers, respectively.
If both are healthy, they could each catapult their teams into new stratospheres.
And that whole conversation comes before mentioning two other recent injury casualties—Carl Landry of the Sacramento Kings and Brendan Haywood of the Charlotte Bobcats.
While neither player is of the caliber of the aforementioned studs, Landry and Haywood are each rotation players in today’s NBA and the Kings and Bobcats will certainly miss their contributions.
Landry is expected to miss three to four months after undergoing surgery to repair a torn hip flexor and Haywood will miss 12 weeks after suffering a stress fracture in his left foot.
Lesson learned: Preseason does not count, except for when guys gets hurt.
That is exactly why it will continue to be routine to give the lion share of preseason playing time to younger players looking to re-establish their legs and fringe players who are fighting for roster spots.