One thing that I have enjoyed about this Blazers era is how unusual the team is in certain key respects. For example, how they are extreme outliers in terms of mean age on the roster versus wins (or pace). I am curious now about our on-going spate of injuries, how that compares to other injury-plagued teams in NBA history, and what happened to those other teams in terms of W/L. I gather the operative statistic is 'games lost to injury/illness', by which I think is meant the sum over the roster of the number of games each individual was unable to play because of injury/illness. The current Blazers team is likely to achieve a high historical rank on this statistic, based on what we already know. Assuming that things play out more-or-less how they are projected to, here are estimates of games lost of the seven players currently out, over the whole season: Aldridge 2 games, Batum 50 games, Rudy 30 games, Blake 5 games, Oden 62 games, Outlaw 60 games, Przy 52 games. Some of these estimates are known (Oden, Przy), others are rough estimates, but I think this is a pretty conservative estimate -- which means it is likely a lower bound -- and the total is 261 games lost to injury/illness. Doing a quick Google search to find a relevant table, the best I could find was in an article about Clipper history, that cited their 2002-03 squad as the '7th highest tally for games lost to injury/illness with 293'. I think there are some questions about how to count such a statistic, such as: are the games lost from players who would not have been DNP-CD anyhow? For the above seven players, there is no question that they would have had minutes in every game, if healthy. One could imagine counting Patty Mills in the tally -- he has been on the roster from the beginning of the season, and has been out with injury. Somehow those games lost don't count the same, though, since he would not have been playing anyhow had the roster been whole. Not sure how to quantify this notion of 'core rotation player', but I suspect there is a way.
So, this post is a request for somebody to go beyond the anecdotal worst-Juwan-Howard-has-seen-in-16-years label to some concrete data: which NBA squads suffered the worst injury plagues, and how did those squads deal with the adversity (in terms of W/L)? I know we have a long season of ups-and-downs ahead of us, but I really believe that this team is destined to be an outlier, rising to the challenge and exceeding expectations. It has been a blast to watch so far, even with the pain of players going down, and has the feel of an unforgettable season already. Go Blazers!