Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Was Magic Injured in the 1991 Playoffs?

I didn't think so. I mean, I suppose he could have been HIV positive, but it's tough to say that impacted his play (see numbers below). Also, it's not an injury. Bill Simmons felt the need to throw his "injury" into his on-the-fly list of the 10 biggest playoff injuries in the past 25 years:

(The 10 biggest playoff injuries of the past 25 years, in no particular order: Manu in '08; Isiah in '88; McHale and Walton in '87; D-Wade in '05; Duncan in '00; Malone in '04; Worthy in '83; Pippen in '98; Magic in '91; Doc Rivers in '94. All of those injuries potentially swung the Finals except for Pippen's back injury in '98 -- that was the year when Pippen played at 50 percent and MJ said, "Screw it, we're winning anyway.")

I don’t recall Magic being injured in the 1991 playoffs. In the 1991 finals, Magic Johnson played 43, 43, 50 (OT), 44, and 48 minutes. In the 1991 playoffs, Magic averaged 43.3 minutes, 21.8 points, 12.6 assists and 8.1 rebounds per game. That’s, you know, pretty good.


Fred Trigger said...

Did you see that your, and the other FJM's arch enemy, Jemele hill, has been relieved of her duties for an unspecified amount of time? Surprised I havent seen a post on it, but its up over at thebiglead.com.

Jeff said...

Wow thanks I hadn't seen that.


matt said...

I assume he meant '89?

I don't have one of those Jeff-like memories that can instantly recall playoff series from 20 years ago (& apparently neither does Simmons - why should he let "fact checking" or "research" interfere with his column?), so I turn it over to Wikipedia:

"In the 1988–89 NBA season, Johnson's 22.5 points, 7.9 rebounds and 12.8 assists per game earned him his second MVP award,[19] and the Lakers reached the 1989 NBA Finals, where they again faced the Pistons. But after Johnson went down with a hamstring injury in Game 2, the Lakers were no match for the Pistons, who swept them 4–0."

Jeff said...

Yeah he must have meant '89. I was so clued into the year that I didn't try to think of other Magic injury years.

Simmons said in the past (it's in my archives) that the Lakers team was injured in the 1991 finals, so I assumed he was running with that theme. I believe Scott and Worthy missed game 5, but no one thought the series was really in question by then with the Bulls winning 3 in a row. Their only loss was on a Perkins game winning 3 that preceded a Jordan 18 footer that rimmed out.