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The five injuries that have had the most impact on the NBA Playoffs so far

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Oftentimes, the NBA Playoffs become a battle of attrition as teams deal with key injuries.

The teams that are able to keep their stars on the court for the most games are frequently the teams that survive and advance deeper into the postseason, while those who see their best players go down are usually sent home early.

This year's playoffs have already had more than their fair share of injuries, as several squads have had to make on-the-fly adjustments to cover for key absences.

It's tough to replace the players on this list (or watch them play at less than full strength), but the playoffs are all about the "next man up" mantra.

From two teams already eliminated to three teams that could quickly see their seasons put on life support, here are the five biggest injuries to occur in the postseason thus far.

Washington Wizards v Boston Celtics - Game One

Markieff Morris, Washington Wizards

When Morris went down with an ankle injury in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals, it was the beginning of the end for the Wizards, who blew a huge lead to the Celtics without the talented forward.

As you can see in the video below, though Morris took the court in Game 2, he wasn't at full strength and simply had no chance against Isaiah Thomas and his elite ball-handling skills:

Morris needs to heal quickly, as the Wizards' postseason hopes rest squarely on the former Kansas star's shaky ankle. Down 2-0 in the best-of-seven series, Game 3 on Thursday night is a must-win for Washington.

Utah Jazz v Los Angeles Clippers - Game Five

Rudy Gobert, Utah Jazz

Though Gobert is back in action now, he's been severely limited by his injured left knee, suffered in the opening minute of Game 1 of Utah's first-round series against the Clippers.

He missed the rest of Game 1 and all of Games 2 and 3, watching as the Jazz fell behind 2-1. Utah battled its way to a seven-game series victory, but Gobert is not back to his usual self.

In Game 1 against the Warriors on Tuesday night, Gobert was put in a spin cycle by Steph Curry, as you can see below. Even a full-strength Gobert may not have had a chance against the superstar guard, but he would have certainly fared better than this:

Gobert only had 13 points and eight rebounds in 31 minutes during the Jazz's Game 1 loss to Golden State. Utah will need a lot more than that from their star center if this series is going to be competitive at all.

Chicago Bulls v Boston Celtics - Game One

Rajon Rondo, Chicago Bulls

The No. 8 seed Chicago Bulls shocked the NBA world by going into Boston and taking the first two games of their first-round series against the top-seeded Celtics.

Point guard Rajon Rondo was incredible in those games, but broke his thumb in Game 2 and was unable to play the rest of the series.

Of course, we all know how that one ended - the Celtics won four-straight games and advanced to the second round. Bulls fans can only wonder what could have been if Rondo had stayed healthy.

Utah Jazz v Los Angeles Clippers - Game One

Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers

The Clippers have terrible injury luck, especially in the postseason. That unfortunate streak didn't end in 2017, as star forward Blake Griffin went down with an injury to the plantar plate in his big toe during a Game 3 win over the Jazz.

Without Griffin, the Clippers - largely on the back of point guard Chris Paul - managed to keep the series close, but ultimately fell in seven games.

Griffin's toe injury may have single-handedly (single-footedly?) ended the Big 3 era in Los Angeles, as sweeping changes could be coming to the Clippers' roster this offseason.

Houston Rockets v San Antonio Spurs - Game Two

Tony Parker, San Antonio Spurs

After getting blown out of the water in a Game 1 loss to the Houston Rockets in the Western Conference semifinals, the Spurs were rebounding nicely in a Game 2 victory to even the series.

However, in the fourth quarter of the big win, point guard Tony Parker went down holding his left knee, as you can see in the video below:

Now, it appears the savvy veteran will undergo season-ending surgery (via Yahoo! Sports). After Parker scored 27 points in the series-clinching victory over the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round, the Spurs will be hard-pressed to replace his production against the Rockets.

Topics:
LA Clippers
Pacific Division
Western Conference
NBA
Washington Wizards
Southeast Division
Eastern Conference
NBA Playoffs
Blake Griffin
Tony Parker
San Antonio Spurs
Southwest Division

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