Would the NBA’s All-Injured Team be title favourites?

Memphis Grizzlies guard Mike Conley (11) drives against Washington Wizards guard John Wall (2). (Brandon Dill/AP)

A major storyline of the 2017-18 NBA season has been the vicious injury bug that has swept across the league.

Role players and stars alike have been bitten, leaving many teams scrambling to stay afloat.

In the wake of this week’s fresh set of injuries— which have sidelined all-stars like John Wall and Kevin Love— we’ve decided to assemble the NBA’s All-Injured Team to highlight just how many marquee names are currently out of commission.

Frontcourt

Kevin Love: Cleveland Cavaliers

The Cavaliers were already loaded with drama before Love went down with a broken left hand Tuesday, and they now must figure out a way to make do without their all-star forward for the next two months. The Cavs’ second-leading scorer and top rebounder will not undergo surgery, but will still be on the shelf until April.

Cleveland has not played up to expectations so far in what could be LeBron James’ final year with the team. A big splash at the trade deadline just became even more of a necessity.

DeMarcus Cousins: New Orleans Pelicans

With the Los Angeles Clippers essentially throwing in the towel on the rest of this season with the decision to trade Blake Griffin to Detroit, the Pelicans are all but guaranteed a Western Conference playoff spot. It will be tough for them to make any noise in the post-season without Cousins, though.

The man nicknamed Boogie tore his left Achilles tendon on Jan. 26 and will miss the rest of the season, leaving New Orleans without its other imposing big man beside Anthony Davis. The Pelicans moved quickly to address their gaping hole in the frontcourt, acquiring Nikola Mirotic in a trade with the Chicago Bulls Thursday.

DeMarcus Cousins

Cousins (0) is helped off the court. (Gerald Herbert/AP)

Kawhi Leonard: San Antonio Spurs

One of the league’s top two-way players, Leonard has been limited to just nine games this season due to a quad injury. He made his season debut on Dec. 12, playing reduced minutes and sitting out a handful of contests to ease his transition back to the court.

Unable to fully get over the soreness, the Spurs shut him down on Jan. 17 for an indefinite period of time. This decision reportedly sparked discontent among Leonard’s camp, but the Spurs organization has denied those accusations. San Antonio remains one of the West’s top teams in Leonard’s absence, sitting third in the conference.

Backcourt

John Wall: Washington Wizards

The third 2017-18 all-star on this list is Wall, who will be out six to eight weeks after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his left knee. Wall’s numbers are down this season, but he still remains an elite point guard and ranks second in the NBA in assists per game.

Washington is in a dog fight for a top-four seed in the Eastern Conference, and losing Wall is a massive blow to a team perilously thin at point guard. Tomas Satoransky is currently slotted atop the depth chart, but the Wizards could look for a rental player through trade in an attempt to weather the storm until Wall’s return.

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Mike Conley: Memphis Grizzlies

One of the NBA’s most consistently overlooked players, Conley will sit out the rest of the season due to a small bone protrusion in his left heel. Limited to just 12 games this year, the point guard has undergone surgery and is expected to be ready for 2018-19 training camp.

Memphis has been a fixture in the playoff picture for the past seven years, but this season hasn’t gone according to script. The Grizzlies aren’t close to sniffing a post-season berth, and Conley’s absence gives them an even more direct road to the lottery.

Sixth Man

Gordon Hayward: Boston Celtics

Let’s not forget the Celtics have been putting together their impressive season without their prized free agent signing. Hayward went down just five minutes into his Boston debut in what is one of the most gruesome injuries in recent memory. He suffered a broken left tibia and dislocated ankle on the play and will most likely be sidelined for the rest of the season, although the team hasn’t officially ruled out a return.

Gordon Hayward injury

Gordon Hayward suffered a gruesome injury in his Celtics debut. (Tony Dejak/AP)

Seventh Man

Paul Millsap: Denver Nuggets

The Nuggets spent big on Millsap in the summer only to watch him go down 16 games into the season with a left wrist injury. The 12-year veteran is ahead of schedule in his recovery and hopes to return shortly after the all-star break. Denver has been treading water without its defensive linchpin, locking down the eighth seed out West.

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