Houston Rockets reason #2 to love the James Harden trade: Brooklyn’s injury concerns
To be perfectly clear: injuries are the worst aspect of professional sports. Nobody should ever hope for another human being to get hurt, no matter how it may impact their favorite professional sports team. Still, they are inevitable. Furthermore, it would be naïve to deny that the Houston Rockets would benefit from injuries to key members of the Brooklyn Nets. Given the age and history of Brooklyn's big-3, It would be equally naïve to deny the likelihood of that possibility.
This was the one shortcoming of Lindberg’s model. It was generally impressive, it made a strong case, and it was more sophisticated than anything this particular SpaceCityScoop contributor is likely to cook up. Still, it couldn’t account for Kevin Durant’s Achilles or project whether James Harden’s injured hamstring is a harbinger of things to come. Finally, it couldn’t know whether Kyrie Irving's ankle will hold up, or whether he may make good on his intent to retire early (an outcome Rockets fans can cheer for without guilt).
Durant's Achillies is an area of particular concern for the Nets. Although KD was incredible in his most recent playoff run, this is not an injury with a strong track record for rehabilitation. Durant may buck the trend but as Rockets fans have seen with John Wall, it can be an injury that leads to more injuries.
The issue with projections is that chaos theory underlies all of them. A similar projection model likely would have anticipated the Golden State Warriors to be competing for an NBA championship in the 2020-21 season. The James Harden trade may, in fact, never translate into a lottery pick for the Houston Rockets, but at the same time, a convergence of bad luck events for the Nets is an absolute possibility.