Only one thing can spoil a victory in the NBA. Injuries.
Just ask the Philadelphia 76ers.
They had their way in a 78-61 rout over an injury-riddled Orlando Magic team Monday night. It’s the second fewest points allowed by the Sixers since the shot clock was allowed 1954-55. But they didn’t end the game without being bitten by the injury bug.
Thaddeus Young, who’s been a consistent contributor toward the Sixers in so many ways, went to the floor midway in the second quarter and didn’t come back. He had a left hamstring strain and coach Doug Collins indicated afterward that it would be a while for Young to come back.
A while isn’t a good word from coaches. If it’s a short absence, they would say as much. Using the word awhile generally means several games.
Spencer Hawes, who had a big game for the Sixers with 21 points and 14 rebounds, acknowledged that losing Young will be tough for a 21-26 Sixers team trying to get to the .500 mark and make the playoffs.
In his fifth year for Georgia Tech, Young has been a consistent threat for the Sixers with 15.1 points and 7.4 rebounds a game. Compared to his career figures, he was averaging two more points and two more rebounds a game this season. His shooting percentage is well over 50 percent.
Ironically, Young’s biggest asset was his ability to stay away from injuries. He only missed one game from injury last season.
The Sixers can’t replace what Young produces. All they can do is pray for a speedy recovery.