The Warriors received some fantastic news today: Yao Ming has a stress fracture in his left foot that will keep him out the rest of the season.
OK everybody, let’s cheer for misfortune! Hip hip hooray!
Maybe the Rockets are still 2.5 games ahead of the W’s, which are a Baron Davis injury away from their season becoming irrelevant themselves. But even though Houston has won their last twelve games, they figure to fall out of playoff contention without Yao.
Not only is Houston’s momentum grinding to an immediate halt, now they’re going to have to rely on the 88-year-old Dikembe Mutombo.
Speaking of Yao, he’s kind of getting into Bill Walton territory with all these foot and leg injuries, isn’t he? Especially with his Chinese National Team duties, his mileage may be higher than any 27-year-old basketball player throughout history, so this is something that figures to be a hallmark of his career. Too bad, because Yao isn’t just an important player from a global perspective, he’s also an outstanding offensive big man with soft hands. And no, that last sentence doesn’t mean I think Yao is hot. Well, maybe a little.
The good news today is if the Warriors stay relatively healthy and cut down on the losses to inferior teams, we’re looking at a No. 7 or 8 seed. Of course, those are two Yao-sized ifs. In the NBA’s Western Conference it’s advisable to not take anything for granted, especially this year.