PrimeThyme wrote:Idk if Swami or someone else can elaborate but what aren't these hacks telling us about Isaacs's injury? The nonoperative form of this type of knee injury is supposed to have him returning to play in 8 weeks. Isaac is going on 6 months with no return in sight. Are they just being hyper safe or did he have some form of reconstructive knee surgery?
The Magic are notoriously vague about everything when it comes to reporting their injuries. I've kind of given up on trying to interpret them at this point.
The 8 week mark was always meant as a "re-evaluation point." If you listened to Josh Robbins or Zach Lowe, they were always pessimistic about Isaac returning at all this season. Isaac never required a surgery. He's simply been doing rehab.
I don't believe Weltman and Hammond were ever going to bring Isaac back this season even without the suspended season, even if Isaac had been deemed "cleared." Here's Weltman 5 months ago:
“Yeah, I never want to say a thousand percent, but I think we’re not expecting him back, put it that way,” Weltman responded when asked if he could confirm if Isaac is expected to sit out the remainder of the season. “And if we’re pleasantly surprised then so be it, but the fact of the matter is the longer you’re out you’re gonna get de-conditioned and we don’t ever wanna rush our guys back or put them in a position to get re-injured, god forbid. We’re taking a very cautious approach as we always do.”Isaac, by all my accounts including a recent podcast he did with Howard Beck of Bleacher Report, is way more optimistic about his ability to play. Isaac himself himself feels fine, which is encouraging.
Here's what Isaac told Josh Robbins in April about returning in the "bubble":
“That’s the question that I’ve been getting most as well,” Isaac responded when asked if we could potentially see him back again this season, via Josh Robbins of The Athletic. “And I love the question. It’s a great question. It’s an amazing question. It’s one that I’m asking myself in terms of, ‘Listen, the farther that this goes back on, as my rehab continues to progress, is there a window where I could possibly play?’
My answer is: If there is, then great! If I’m ready to play when this thing adjourns, I want to play.”
“I can’t really speak for the front office,” said the 22-year-old. “I can’t speak for everybody as a whole. At the end of the day, it really comes down to them because they want to make sure that everything is good, that I’m preserved and everything. And that’s great.
“But if I’m in a place where my knee is great, my mental (outlook) is great, my spirit is great and I’m in a place where I can play a game and I have a couple of weeks of conditioning, a couple of weeks of basketball where I’m like, ‘I’m set and I’m ready to play,’ then I’ll go ahead and play.”
My impression of all this is that Isaac probably could
play. I don't believe the injury is worse than billed. He never required a surgery. But the front office is making a conscious decision to hold him out to prevent any injury that would hold him back for the 20-21 season.
In some ways, I kind of understand why the Magic would hold him out. It's the same reason that the Nets would never allow Kevin Durant or Kyrie Irving to play even if they were "cleared" to play (Woj mentioned this in one of his podcasts last month). Most soft tissue injuries that happen in the NBA happen in the first few weeks of training camp, pre-season, and regular season because there is such a quick ramp up in activities. This is going to be even quicker than usual. The Magic want no part of any risk of Isaac getting any injury. I think they've made the calculation that protecting Isaac to be completely healthy for the 20-21 season is more important to them and Isaac than any experience he might gain or value he might add to the Magic's playoff performance in this bubble.
I'm not sure I totally agree with that assessment. At this point, I think every player hasn't really been in basketball shape for the last 4 months. I think everyone is equally out of shape and increased risk for injury. I think Isaac could really help us in the playoffs. I think Isaac could benefit from the experience. At the same time, I get why their concerns with Isaac just coming off the injury. In similar vain, Victor Oladipo, who could probably play, is coming off a bad quadriceps injury. There's no reason to risk any further injury or further aggravation of the injury knowing the outcome is likely a first or second round out.
I wonder how seriously some of these teams are going to take these games. I think teams who know they don't have a shot, like the Pacers, Nets, Wizards, Suns, Spurs are going to mail it in. I could see teams holding guys out (the Wizards are already holding out Brad Beal and Davis Bertans; the Nets are fielding a G League team). I think there are going to be a faction of teams who use this to develop young players and honor their RSN contracts. The real contenders will go at it hard, and are more likely to extend their players a little further.