NBA / Nov 12, 2009 / 1:37 pm

10 Players Who Are About To Crash The Party

Pau Gasol

Pau Gasol

The injury epidemic hit the NBA hard at the beginning of this NBA season. Several stars’ season debuts have been delayed due to different injuries. On top of guys getting hurt, a couple of big time players started the year suspended. Now that J.R. Smith and Tyler Hansbrough finally suited up, there are a dozen of other players who are about to crash the season and possibly make major impacts. Here’s ten to keep an eye on.

1. Pau Gasol (Lakers): With a 6-1 record, the defending champs have been holding down the fort nicely, while they wait for their All-Star forward to return from a hamstring injury. When he does, this starting five will be practically invincible. The big question is when Gasol will return. Coach Phil Jackson stirred the pot a little yesterday by saying he wouldn’t retun until Christmas – he said later he was joking. Gasol is going to resume practicing next week, so his return might be closer to Thanksgiving than Christmas.

2. Antawn Jamison (Wizards): The ship is quickly sinking in the nation’s capital as the team has dropped five straight and their record now stands at 2-6. The injury curse has once again struck as Mike Miller, Randy Foye and Mike James have all been hurt as of late. Jamison has been out the entire season with a shoulder injury. The team misses his points, rebounds and his leadership. His injury has also forced Caron Butler to play a little out of position.

3. Blake Griffin (Clippers): Every game we see Brandon Jennings play, the more we start to forget about Blake. Blake shouldn’t be MIA too much longer, but he needs to get on the court and be a beast ASAP, before suspisions of the Clippers curse arise again.

4. Rashard Lewis (Magic): The Magic have struggled at times at the beginning of this season. Losing to Detroit and getting blown out by OKC is unacceptable for a team that is supposed to contend for a title. Rashard was forced to sit out the first 10 games of the season after taking a performance enhancing substance over the summer. His long range shooting and versatility has been missed sorely.

5. Kevin Love (Timberwolves): We all expected the Timberwolves to struggle, but they are getting destroyed out there. They have lost eight straight games and his sidekick Al Jefferson has been awful so far. When Love and Jefferson are at their best, they are the best young frontcourt in the league.

6. Tracy McGrady (Rockets): Every day that passes, McGrady becomes less and less relevant. A lot of people probably don’t know he is still on the roster. He is expected to be back at practice next week and should be ready to go by early December. After shutting it down at the middle of last season, T-Mac has a lot to prove this year to his team, the league and his fans.

7. C.J. Miles (Jazz): It is doubtful that the Jazz are 3-5 solely because Miles is not in uniform. But between Miles and Kyle Korver being hurt all season, leaves the team without a couple of their best perimeter guys. C.J. has never had a huge impact in this league, but has showed flashes that he can be a solid starter in this league one day. If he proves to be more consistent when he returns from a hand injury, then he could help get the Jazz out of their funk.

8. Leon Powe (Cavs): When Powe returns, he won’t be the missing piece to the championship puzzle, but he gives the team another big body that will go in and rebound and bang. Plus he’s won a championship with Boston, so he has playoff experience that will certainly come in handy.

9. Eddy Curry (Knicks): Has anybody seen the pictures of Eddy that have been floating around the web this week? He is supposedly under 300 pounds now and with his new bald head and bushy goatee, he is looking like a slightly larger version of Plaxico Burress. Who knows what he can contribute to the Knicks when he returns. But one thing is certain: he can’t possibly make them worse.

10. The Random Free Agent: Maybe the biggest party crasher will be someone who isn’t even in the league right now. Earl Boykins just came out of nowhere today when he signed with the Wizards. With so many NBA players getting hurt this year, maybe someone like Rashad McCants, Stephon Marbury or some random D-League call up like Patrick Ewing Jr. or the other Marcus Williams will have an opportunity to make some noise.

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  • http://heckler@aol.com Heckler

    why is CJ Miles on this list?

    i guess that just goes to show how WEAK this ‘party crasher’ themed list really is

  • IG

    Not Byron Scott.

  • Crabhands

    What ever happened to Brevin Knight? Wonder why the Bullets (Wizards) didn’t look his way…

  • LakeShow84

    Crash the party??

    We bout to tear the roof down in the MUG once he gets back.. barring another injury of course lol

  • s.W.o. 4 Life

    No love for Reggie Evans? A shame since the Raps need his grit, toughness and boarding

  • SWAT

    Mac says he’s gonna play on the 18th…lets just wait and see

  • http://dime uh huh

    @Heckler
    I hope you mean CJ Watson. CJ Miles is pretty solid. He’s actually better than Thaddeus Young currently. He’d start on 1/2 the teams in the league. He could def help N.O. but you know it’s tough succeding in Sloan’s system. He destroyed Kirelenko’s game. I don’t think he has confidence. Also why E.Maynor isn’t playing is nothing new. It took miles yrs to earn this guys trust. Luckily Deron has H.O.F. talent or he’d be on the bench as well. Some coaches succeded in the past with the old ways of doing things. New day change or forever loseeeeeeeeeeeeee. It’s funny how some coaches have lifetime contracts. Even if they lose every game they’re back next yr. What a luxury. LOL

  • http://dime uh huh

    Another shameless plug(Ewing Jr.) I agree great job NY. Joe Alexander when he’s back healthy will look like Wilson Chandler last yr with Mr. Brandon R.O.Y. Jennings.

  • karizmatic

    Random Free Agent does NOT count as a 10th player. At least pick a guy you might think could go in that role and break down why instead of just throwing out a few names. This article should be 9 players who are about to crash the party.

  • K Dizzle

    Ain’t Leon Powe out till after the all star break? About to crash the party????

  • Remembering ’70

    What is this?! a list of the top payed players that are currently injured or haven’t played recently?! What does “Number 10: Random Free Agent” even mean? Sounds like your just trying to cover all the bases.

  • http://www.realgm.com Rare Air

    It’s paramount for LA to get Gasol back healthy, I would not want to rush him back before he is truly ready. Hamstrings though are an absolute bitch, I know from playing tennis that they are lingering and never truly go away.

    I just hope to God he shuts it down next summer and gets some rest – the 9 to 5 hooping all year is going to take years off of him and the chances of this Lakers team to be a true dynasty.

  • Diggity Dave

    Daequan Cook has been out for the Heat, and should be coming back as soon as tonight. He’s only played in two of their seven games, and he averages close to 10 points a game. The Heat have been playing great without him, and he should only make them better.

  • http://www.in-n-outnba.blogspot.com Lucas

    I’m actually surprised that Devin Harris isn’t on this list. He is the key for the Nets to win A game this season. Good luck Nets!

  • hater

    seems a bit premature to say love and jefferson at their best would be the best young frontcourt in the league. love did a whole lot of nothing until jefferson was out injured last year. there is zero evidence to suggest they can play effectively at the same time. josh smith/al horford (both 23) would definitely be more deserving of that title. not to mention anthony randolph/andris biedrins, aldridge/oden, bosh/bargnani, hell you could even throw in ryan anderson/dwight howard, and maybe even tyrus thomas/joakim noah/taj gibson as better options.

  • http://www.petsocietyhelp.com Pet Society Help

    The only 2 from this list that’s gonna do any crashing are Gasol and Rashard Lewis, the rest are just gonna end up going with the motions to a losing team. Starbury where are you?

  • QQ

    T-Mac has a lot to prove? Didn’t he proved last year that he is a soft bitch that is never going to win anything?

  • http://yahoo.com john grizz

    Fuck that list where d harris a allstar that the nets r truly missing and is going to be there 1 palyerprobably averaging 23 points and 8 assist

  • luke

    could you guys link to pics u reference?