The 2018-19 NBA regular season is drawing to a close. Most teams only have roughly 2-3 games left on their schedules and the playoff bracket is beginning to take shape. Outside of a close four-team race for the last three spots in the Eastern Conference, the postseason is all but ready to go.
With that being said, there are going to be plenty of former Kentucky players featured in this year’s postseason and probably even more that will be receiving an early vacation. Injuries have already ended the season of a few BBNBA players including John Wall and Isaiah Briscoe, but there are still some players limping to the finish line right now. Let’s catch up on those players real quick and see where everyone stands with the playoffs less than a week away.
- Devin Booker has been ruled out for the remainder of the season as of April 5th after he landed sideways on his left ankle in a game against the Utah Jazz on Wednesday. Booker has already missed time this season due to various hamstring injuries and with only three games left on the Phoenix Suns schedule, it’s probably best they hold him out in order to prepare for a healthy offseason. In case you didn’t know, the Suns are only 19-61 on the season and have been effectively tanking for the better part of the regular season.
- DeMarcus Cousins has only missed five of his 33 games in a Golden State Warriors uniform – mostly due to rest or “load management” – and he’s expected to be healthy for the top-seeded team in the West’s playoff run.
- Anthony Davis’ New Orleans Pelicans have been trying to awkwardly navigate their way through the rest of this dysfunctional season and it apparently still includes plans of playing the former Kentucky big man. Davis has sat out the last five games for the Pellies but is listed as “probable” for Sunday night’s game against the Sacramento Kings. I’d guess he sits, considering the Pelicans aren’t trying to win games right now, and he’ll hopefully be healthy for the offseason.
- Michael Kidd-Gilchrist has sat out several games over the last month, but not because of health reasons. However, he will not play for the Charlotte Hornets on Sunday as he tends to a family matter. Willie Cauley-Stein of the Sacramento Kings is also out tending to a family issue but is not injured. The Kings are already mathematically eliminated from the playoffs and the Hornets’ hopes are getting slimmer and slimmer with every passing day.
- Along with Davis, Darius Miller looks to be done for the season. After sitting out his last three games with a hip injury, Miller has already been ruled out for Sunday’s game and odds are he sits out the Pelicans last two games.
- Alex Poythress will miss his 15th straight game with an ankle sprain. The Atlanta Hawks only have two more games left and Poythress has continually been ruled out since early March. His season is likely done, as well.
The good news is that the majority of BBNBA players who will compete in the postseason are healthy. Eric Bledsoe (MIL), Jamal Murray (DEN), Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (LAC), Enes Kanter (POR), and Cousins (GSW) will headline the 2019 NBA postseason for Kentucky and should all be ready to go, barring anything unforeseen happening in the next few days. And if the Miami Heat can sneak into the playoffs, we can add a healthy (and starting) Bam Adebayo to that list.
The NBA playoffs start April 13.