Of course, nobody wants to see the NBA season suspended or cancelled. But there’s some players who will really benefit from it. From people who just need rest, to people who need to heal up, all the way to people who need to improve a certain aspect of their game, here’s 5 NBA players who could benefit from the NBA season being suspended.
Derrick Rose was having a nice year with the Detroit Pistons, averaging 18.1 points and 5.6 assists per game, to go along with an impressive 49% field goal percentage. Rose was shaping up to be a serious candidate for 6th man of the year, but has since moved into a starting role in place of the bought-out Reggie Jackson. Unfortunately, Rose’s injury prone ankles began to catch up with him, and he saw the most recent part of his season fade away as he dealt with more injuries. As the NBA season was suspended, Rose was actually supposed to be out for “a few weeks” as he recovered from yet another ankle injury.
Rose was likely to play less than 60 games this season of the full 82, however the season suspension now allows Rose plenty of time to rest and heal. Rose is likely isolated in his home, unable to attend practices and likely play at all. This should allow Rose’s ankle to be feeling great by the time the NBA season continues. If the season does continue to it’s full 82 game season (which is unlikely) we could even see Rose play the vast majority of games, as he looks to defy all odds and carry the Pistons to a playoff spot. Rose has Christian Wood who could come back a different player next year, which paired with a healthy Rose could be just what Detroit needs.
Victor Oladipo is finally healthy, and was just starting to find his groove before the suspension of the NBA season. Now, Oladipo has a chance to perfect his game and bring it back to where it should be. Oladipo’s biggest issue when he returned was his shot. While Oladipo looked bouncy and confident on the floor, he seemed to lack his shooting ability that he held before the injury that put him out of the game for over a year. Oladipo was shooting career lows 39.1% FG and 30.4% 3PT. Through 13 games, Oladipo was averaging just 13.8 points per game, his lowest since his rookie season.
This break offers Victor a chance to get his shot back. It’s likely that the Pacers rushed to get Oladipo onto the court as soon as he was healthy in order to defend their playoff seed, which makes sense. The Pacers probably didn’t offer Oladipo enough time to be game ready, as far as fitness and shooting. Now, Oladipo can carry over his later success he experienced directly before the break, and bring his shooting back to the level he can play at.
Beal was on an absolute tear before the season was suspended. Apparently Beal took the all star game snub to heart, and is now averaging 30.5 points per game, along with 6 assists. Beal grabbed the Washington Wizards by the neck, and has single-handedly carried them back into a playoff race. The Wizards now sit in 9th in the East, behind the Magic, and closely trailed by the Hornets. But how much longer could Beal keep this up? Everyone has a max they can play at. Beal was playing such good basketball, but nobody (except Kobe and maybe Jordan) can play at that high of level for an entire season.
My point is, Beal needs a rest. Beal is playing the 5th most minutes per game in the NBA, and attempting the 7th most shots in the NBA. Every player above Beal in both of these categories has a duo with another all star, whether it be LeBron and AD, Paul George and Kawhi, or Kyle Lowry and Siakam. The difference is that Beal is alone. Beal will benefit from a breather, and will come back just as good, if not better than he was during the season. Who knows, maybe John Wall could return by that time.
Before the NBA season suspension, Kemba Walker was having a decent season. He earned another all star starting job, but injured his knee in the all star game. Walker has been dealing with this knee injury since February now, trying to play games here and there. Walker’s knee wasn’t really ever given a full opportunity to recover, and it seemed like him playing was only making matters worse. A knee injury is no joke, and is something that needs to be addressed right away. The Celtics elected to allow him to play further with the injury, but eventually it became too much, Walker had to sit out.
Following Walker’s knee being drained, the latest report from A Sherrod Blakely from Hoops Rumors said that Walker’s knee was “feeling better”, but the Celtics don’t know when he’ll be game ready, as he hasn’t had a chance to play against anyone. Walker has historically been very good at staying healthy, so addressing this knee injury with sufficient rest should allow him to return to the court and do what he does best. The break in the NBA season is very well timed for Walker, who needs to heal fully before the Celtics bring him back into play.
Before D’Angelo Russell’s arrival, Towns was the only star on the Timberwolves, and he was getting star touches. Towns put the entire city of Minnesota on his back, and suffered the consequences. Towns struggled with a variety of injuries all year long, and even when the Wolves acquired Russell, Towns struggled with carrying the team. Russell and Towns have both dealt with a variety of injuries, but when the season is back, the load that Russell will be able to take off Towns back will make all the difference in the world, and allow Towns to really get his game going, instead of being the primary ball handler all the time.
Towns will be able to play his game, and also will benefit from some much needed rest and recovery. Most recently, Towns was dealing with a wrist injury, which isn’t too major, however when he returns, he should be completely healthy. A healthy Karl Anthony Towns, paired with a healthy D’Angelo Russell should be able to get Minnesota back on track. Neither of these two players are overly durable, so this break will allow them to return to 100%, whenever the season does eventually resume.
BONUS: Ben Simmons
Imagine if Ben Simmons came out of quarantine with a three point shot.