On a scale of 1 to 10, how worried are you about the abilities of the New Orleans Pelicans medical staff? Why and is there anything you would like to see changed?
Jason Albert: I am not worried too much yet so I'll say a 4. Injuries happen and everyone knows that; however, I think they should feel some pressure after what transpired following the Jrue Holiday trade.
Joseph Billiot: 10, It's time for a second opinion. It feels like a lot of the Pelicans players and staff don't respect the medical staff enough to even listen to them anymore.
Chris Cucchiara: 7. Generally, I would just chalk injuries up to bad luck. Injuries happen every year to most teams, but when you are talking about Tyreke, QPon, Cole, Babbitt, Asik and Ajinca, you are talking about a collection of guards, forwards and big men.
Unless you want to use the argument that these guys are all injury prone or that the Pels just are in the midst of terrible injury luck, I think that there must be some innovative, Chip Kelly-centric approach to injury prevention that the Pels need to implement. You cannot feel good about a staff that oversees a squad which is consistently plagued by injury.
Peyton Fine: 8, but it is only an 8 because I feel like I can't give a 10 without all of the information. I refuse to believe that we receive all the bad luck of injuries in the NBA. At some point, there must be a failure within the medical staff. I would just like to see proper reporting of the injuries. I understand that at times withholding information can possess a strategic advantage, but constantly increasing the severity of an injury just makes the staff look incompetent and erodes the confidence of the team and its supporters.
Jonny Harvey: 1. What I think some fans don’t understand is that injuries don’t occur because of a training staff, it’s not simply a direct correlation. The staff may not help players rehab correctly, or give the wrong advice for surgeries, but in no way does the training staff intensely affect the frequency with which players get injured while playing an injury-prevalent sport.
I tore my MCL and meniscus playing basketball in 8th grade, and I can say pretty confidently that rehabbing and strengthening my knees since have been tedious. I can’t say I know more than these team doctors, and I trust that they have diagnosed everyone properly such as recommending surgery for Tyreke Evans because it would genuinely help his health. Sometimes it takes awhile to strengthen a particular body so that no longer lasting injuries occur. So, my worried level would be a one, but am I concerned that the Pelicans may be cursed? Absolutely.
Quentin Haynes: 6. A part of me is questioning the ability of the Pelicans medical staff, but these are players that are getting reoccuring injuries, no? Jrue's injury has happened several times now. Evans is on his second or third surgery, Asik was banged up last year and Eric Gordon, sadly, hasn't been healthy since he arrived in New Orleans. The only one I give a mulligan to is Ryan Anderson. I think a part of it has to do with the medical staff, but we might have to consider whether this core is simply injury prone.
Will Hibert: 5. I don't believe we have nearly enough information (or knowledge, frankly) to judge the medical staff or the job they have done. There are obviously concerns with this early rash of injuries and the revelation that Jrue was supposed to be on a minutes restriction last season, but I'm not sure how much you could pin on the team's doctors. The only change I would like has more to do with the PR staff and the sometimes comically non-specific injury updates we have seen time and time again. Just tell us what is going on when you know it.
David Fisher: 5? Pretty lukewarm on this since, as I mentioned in the Tyreke Evans piece, the primary pieces of the training staff are new arrivals who have been on the job less than 12 months. I still do wish that when the Golden State Warriors moved on from head athletic trainer Johan Wang this summer that the Pelicans would have jumped at hiring him.
Tyreke Evans was 100% and then suffered a new injury. Is that a failure of the staff or a random event that happened to occur on the same knee? Three muscle strains (Ajinca, Asik, Babbitt) plus another muscular issue (Gordon, back) to me is much more a concern of process than either injuries to Evans or Cole. Not every injury is preventable, some are just random landing wrong.
I do have concerns about process when it comes to the Pelicans hiring in house for a new athletic trainer in Duane Brooks from the Saints. That net, to me, needs to be cast far wider. Brooks could be an elite trainer. Hiring in house just leaves a bad taste in my mouth about how hard the organization looked. It also is one area I wonder how much control lies in the hands of Mickey Loomis.
Oleh Kosel: 9. Past history mandates to be wary of the New Orleans organization; one that has been constantly plagued more than the majority, has been known to change prognoses midstream (usually for the worse) and is sensitive about the release of information.
A few others have alluded to this: if the Pelicans are concerned about creating a stronger image, they need to start with releasing all pertinent and correct news in a timely manner. Next, re-injuries scream inadequate rehabilitation, lack of prevention or other faulty procedures might exist. (Evan's knee, Anthony Davis' shoulder, and Holiday's tibia are just too much coincidence.) Lastly, it is well known that weaknesses in one part of the body can lead to other injuries. I can't help but feel that Omer Asik's back and Alexis Ajinca's Achilles problems from the off-season are at least partially responsible for their current injuries.
Yes, I plan on remaining paranoid until proven otherwise.