The lockout claims more victims this week, as media members submit their ballots for the NBA award winners. There is peril in picking this season.
The shortened season has made injuries even more outsized. Players have missed more games, and the concern about being as healthy as possible going into the playoffs has made coaches even more conservative about resting star players down the stretch, meaning they miss even more games.
This, obviously, creates a problem.
As a coach asked me this week, if you don't vote, say, Derrick Rose first-team all-NBA because he missed half of the season with his various back and groin injuries, how can you vote him second team? Or third team, for that matter? How is that any fairer to guys who've played most of the games this season? But if you don't do that, you'll be subject to those on the other side, who'd question how in the world you could leave Derrick Rose off of three all-NBA teams. He's Derrick Rose, for Norm Van Lier's sake! (More on Rose below.)
But you can't punt. You have to vote for somebody. And I owe it to you to explain what is important to me as I fill out the ballots.