"It sucks." That's LeBron James' view on what we're not seeing in these NBA playoffs. "It's terrible that we don't have Derrick Rose, and now Russell Westbrook, David Lee, and a lot of guys that's just not in the lineup," he said of the nightly view from his couch. "Amare Stoudemire is another one." And Kobe Bryant and Derrick Rose and Rajon Rondo and Danny Granger and Danilo Gallinari and Lou Williams. It has reached the point this postseason where the complete, healthy and whole, playoff team is the exception, the Miami Heat with their own concerns with Dwyane Wade's balky right knee. While many of the injuries are nothing more than happenstance, body turning one way, limb going the other, the NBA like the NFL is becoming a league of attrition. When it comes to the schedule, James said this is a case where less-is-more might have its merits. Teammate Shane Battier was among the first to express that line of thought. "I think 60 is the perfect number," Battier said this past week. "I've said that for many years. It's a long season." James picked up from there. "It's tough and it's a lot of wear and tear on our bodies," he said. "An 82-game season is a lot. I'm not one to say we should have fewer games than we have. But 82 games, with the traveling we had, going to China before the season, it's been a lot on us." The counter from management is that fewer games would require a commensurate drop in salaries. "I think that's a conversation to be had with the players' association, the players and the owners," James said. "I love to play basketball. We always get the opportunity to go out every night and showcase our talent, but I think that's a business question to go over. It benefits some people, some people it doesn't benefit." Teammate James Jones, secretary/treasurer on the union board, said there is another option, one that would include seldom-used players such as himself: teams actually using their entire 15-player rosters, instead of wearing down their stars through the 82-game regular-season grind.
LeBron laments NBA's playoff injury absences
Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel | May 4