OKC Thunder: Which player will benefit most from the extended layoff

OKC Thunder roundtable: Chris Paul #3 of the Oklahoma City Thunder in action against the New York Knicks. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
OKC Thunder roundtable: Chris Paul #3 of the Oklahoma City Thunder in action against the New York Knicks. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

Continuing the OKC Thunder 30 for 30 roundtable series the T.I. writing team dives into which player will benefit most from the long layoff.

In the last two questions of the roundtable the Thunderous Intentions writing team considered which teams would benefit from the extended layoff. Next up we consider which player(s) this hiatus will help most and whether any OKC Thunder players are in the mix.

With that, I give you question 17 from the series…

Q17:  What player is helped the most from the suspension and why?

Shontelle Matano:

In saying that the Lakers’ momentum could be altered, I actually believe that this suspension will help LeBron James the most. We all know that he’s superhuman and this season at 35 years of age he continues to reach new heights.

This will give him more time to rest and get back to full strength after he suffered a groin injury earlier in the season. James also has more time to plan for the playoffs even though he did say that his playoff mode is activated.

Rylan Stiles:

I think Chris Paul again benefits most from any player, as we know his entire career has been a nagging injury after another in the postseason. After playing in all but one game this season, CP3 getting rest is not a bad thing.

Dustin McGowen

Time heals all wounds, and this is no different in the NBA. Players tend to succumb to fatigue and injury at the end of the season and playoffs. The older the player, the worse these cumulative effects can be.

For this reason, LeBron James is my pick for the player to benefit most from the suspension. He will be fresh and rested for the remainder of the schedule. Can you imagine a fresh LeBron in the postseason tournament? It will be a sight to behold.

Tamberlyn Richardson:

More from Thunderous Intentions

A few players were nursing injuries as the suspension hit and they’ll benefit from the time to allow their bodies to fully heal.

At the top of that list is Damian Lillard since he only recently returned to action after suffering a groin injury. Of all the injuries a player can sustain groin injuries are among the most precarious. Marc Gasol suffered a groin injury earlier this season and returned after missing 12 games. He appeared in eight games prior to re-injuring his groin on an innocent play that forced him out of the lineup for another 15 games.

For Dame Lillard this time will allow that groin to fully heal. That’s important especially if the league elects to play out the regular season matches or conducts a play-in tournament for the final playoff seed. In either scenario, the Blazers would be figured to be the team who would catch the Grizzlies or win the tournament. A strong and revitalized Lillard is essential to that occurring.

Additionally, any player currently out injured will benefit from the time off which begs the question of whether Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving would return after this delay. That sure would change the dynamics of a first-round series against the defending champions than one without either superstar.

Next. 30 x 30 roundtable Q15: Teams helped most by suspension. dark

Next up the Thunderous Intentions writing team offers up the individual who’ll be hurt most from having extended time off due to the suspension.

Wishing everyone a safe and healthy day.