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2018-19 NBA Season: 5 injury-prone youngsters with the most to prove

SENIOR ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
1.36K   //    20 Aug 2018, 18:43 IST

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Joel Embiid (L) and Jabari Parker (R)

"The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away," is a saying fit for many of the youngsters who made it to the NBA in the past 4 seasons based off their play at lower levels of competition, but have been unable to make a mark on the league because of injury troubles.

Normal people find it discomfiting when they haven't had a clean bill of health to walk around as they wish for a couple of days. Imagine how humbled these young players have felt in the past couple of seasons as they rehabbed from severely debilitating foot, shoulder, hip, back and arm injuries.

Fortunately for them and for sports fans who live and by the fortunes of their teams, the players we mention on this list have the opportunity to feel themselves, maybe become better than they ever were in the 2018-19 season. The following 5 players will have inordinate amounts of pressure placed on them given their age, but all of them have the skills, situation and hopefully, the mental drive required of them to become better than they've ever been:


#5 Markelle Fultz

Boston Celtics v Philadelphia 76ers
Boston Celtics v Philadelphia 76ers

The spotlight is on and squarely in the Sixers' 20-year-old #1 overall pick from the 2017 NBA draft after he finished the queerest season ever played by a #1 overall pick in 2017-18. Fultz reconstructed his jumpshot after putting on some shoulder and arm weight in the summer of 2017 with disastrous effect.

The Sixers' shooting trainer said he'd 'gotten the yips' and forgotten how to shoot, and after appearing in their first couple of games, Fultz was shut down indefinitely. A late-season comeback for the combo guard saw him become the youngest player in NBA history to compile a triple-double, but he failed to see much action off the bench for his team in a second-round playoff exit.

Even if Fultz were never to get his jumpshot back, he could still be a really valuable player for the Sixers given his special driving ability and the dynamic feel he has for the game. But he did work out this offseason with the famed Drew Hanlen, who has helped the likes of Blake Griffin, among others, in developing an NBA-level jumpshot.

Now that he's done with his rookie season, the pressure on him this year will not be nearly as much as 2017-18. But it is still a fair amount of hype for a youngster to deal with, especially considering that he's on one of the most stacked rosters in the Eastern Conference and will be expected to be a valuable contributor.

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SENIOR ANALYST
Started as an Arsenal fan at the age of 6. Became a Ronaldo and a Real Madrid fan after the 2002 World Cup. Bandwagon Celtics fan this season, though I've watched the NBA with increasing frequency over the past 14 years or so. Played both games with my high school team at some of the highest levels there are in India. Played against East Bengal u-17s in college. A member of Mercurial FC, 1st division Amateur League team in Bangalore.
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