Bucks Lose Jabari Parker to Torn ACL
The Milwaukee Bucks were starting to see their prized 2014 draft pick pay off. Now they have to wait until next year to see if he can continue to be the real deal.
Per reports, the Bucks will have to do without star rookie forward Jabari Parker the rest of the way, as the former Blue Devil tore his ACL in a recent win over the Phoenix Suns.
Not the First to Fall
The news of Parker’s season-ending injury is devastating both for the Bucks and the league, as the NBA now loses it’s second star rookie to a major injury. Los Angeles Lakers big man Julius Randle went down in the first game of the year with a broken leg, while Orlando Magic forward Aaron Gordon also has missed significant action with an ailment of his own.
It’s a tough blow for the league and this year’s rookie class, but it’s obviously specifically bad news for Milwaukee. Parker seemed to be finding his place in the team and in the league, putting up averages of 12+ points and 5.5 rebounds per game. Parker displayed the ability to play and defend both forward positions and was turning into one of Milwaukee’s more reliable go-to scorers on offense.
Bucks Playoff Odds
In addition to playing well and getting consistent run, Parker was a key part of a resurgence under new head coach Jason Kidd. Part of Parker’s impact has been his versatility and ability to help in the transition game, while his overall spark helped the Bucks get more well-rounded on both ends of the court.
While he wasn’t blowing everyone away like some rookies have in the past, he was a reliable rookie that was improving on a nightly basis. Parker still has immense upside and should make a full recovery for the 2015-16 NBA season, but this is clearly a massive hit for a team that was still just barely over .500 (13-12) on the year.
Milwaukee could still wrap up a low seed in the pathetic Eastern Conference, but it’s going to be much more difficult without such a solid player to help them along the way. Milwaukee currently sits in a tie with the Miami Heat for the conference’s sixth seed, but without Parker is likely to slide down to the seventh or eighth spot, while a complete slide out of the playoff race remains entirely possible. With the Orlando Magic, Indiana Pacers and Boston Celtics all possibly nipping at Milwaukee’s heels, they’ll have to have bench players step up to stay the course.
Khris Middleton and Giannis Antetokounmpo are the two biggest names that will be relied upon for heavy minutes and consistent production. If they can answer the call and play well, the Bucks should still have a solid shot at sneaking into the playoffs. Advancing out of the first round without Parker, however, is another story, altogether.
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