76ers’ Danny Green suffers horror injury in Game 6 loss to the Heat
Insult was quite literally added to injury when the 76ers not only exited the playoffs courtesy of the Heat, but they lost one of their players to what will surely be a long term injury.
If it wasn’t bad enough that they were eliminated from the NBA playoffs by the Miami Heat in Game 6, the 76ers’ veteran Danny Green tore not only the ACL in his left leg, but the LCL as well.
76ers’ Danny Green suffers severe knee injury
Heading into Game 6 against the Miami Heat, the 76ers would have already known that they were up against it. What they could not have known is that by the night, they would not only be out of the playoffs, but one of their players would suffer a terrible injury. The moment came in the first quarter when the veteran guard went down with what was clearly an extreme injury. As he clutched his left knee, it was plain to see that Green was in extreme pain. He was quickly taken out of the game and did not return. One of the few decent perimeter players that the 76ers possess, Green would unfortunately not be present to help stave off what turned out to be 99-90 loss that brought the Sixers’ season to an end. The 76ers confirmed on Friday that Green had in fact torn the LCL and ACL ligaments in his left knee.
How did Danny Green’s injury occur?
What makes Green’s injury all the more sad is that it occurred due to accidental contact between himself and center Joel Embiid. Early in the first quarter the Sixers’ big man went to the hoop for what seemed to be a difficult layup and as he fell to the ground after, it appears as though he collided with Green’s knee. Where Green is concerned, it was simply a case of ‘wrong place at the wrong time’ given that his teammate fell on him without intention. It didn’t take long for everyone present to understand that Green was seriously hurt, as he was quickly removed from the game.
Incidentally, Green would later return to the bench on crutches to the applause of both sets of fans. Indeed, the guard who has won three NBA titles with three different teams has always been considered a ‘team player.’ Even in pain that mentality was evident in his answer when asked why he did. Green explained it was about being there for the team.
What does this mean for the 76ers and Danny Green?
The loss of Green will certainly have a significant effect on the 76ers’ strategy for the future, even if this is the off-season and there are a few reasons why. The Sixers are essentially a team that lack versatility on their roster. That is not to say that there aren’t some exceptional players on the team, but it’s simply a case of them being one dimensional to a certain extent. Green offers a somewhat different dimension. An excellent defender, Green provides more freedom to the more offensive minded players on the team, but is also a superb shooter. In his absence the 76ers are going to have to rethink how they cover, which means players like Matisse Thybulle will be asked to do a lot more. The problem is that while Thybulle is excellent on defense, he doesn’t come close to the kind of offensive production of Green.
As Green himself, one might be thinking ‘he still has time to recover.’ It is true that the Sixers off-season has unfortunately just begun, so there is time for recovery and rehabilitation. Yet, with his 35th birthday coming just next month, it is all but certain that with the kind of injury that Danny Green suffered, his road to recovery is going to be a long one. Indeed, while there is no official time line yet, the reality is that this is likely to be a career defining injury and when you add to that the idea that his contract is not guaranteed for the coming season, the situation couldn’t be much worse for Green or the team.