BOSTON -- The video of Andrew Bogut's horrific arm injury was bad enough. The specter of a late-season injury to their own teams was enough to make stomachs turn Sunday at TD Bank Garden.
In separate pre-game interviews, separated by a few minutes and about 50 feet in the locker room hallway, Doc Rivers and Mike Brown both reacted with the expected head-shaking and somber tone when asked about the devastating fall taken by the Bucks' center Saturday night. The more they talked, it was clear both understood that they could be walking in Scott Skiles' shoes at any moment.
"We could go out here today and something could happen," Brown said before his Cavaliers played the Celtics. "We’re going to have to have some contact in practice, and even if it’s five possessions or three possessions, something could happen. Something could happen driving home in your car. There’s all types of what-ifs, what-ifs, what-ifs. And if you try to be too careful then stuff can still happen and you won't get accomplished what you need to get accomplished to be ready. That’s a tough injury for Bogut. You hope that doesn’t happen to anybody else. But in the same breath, it’s part of t game and part of life."
Unlike Brown, Rivers isn't contemplating whether to rest his stars heading into the playoffs; Cleveland is one win away from wrapping up home-court advantage throughout the playoffs, while Boston is trying to overtake Atlanta for the third seed. If they do, there's a chance their first-round opponent will be the Bucks, who will be without Bogut until next season.
Ray Allen, a former Buck who had been preparing for possibly facing his former team in the playoffs, said, "This is a tough time of the year because they are making playoff plans, selling playoff tickets and they’re right there in the hunt. I think every coach dreads that."
Rivers was adamant -- and I agree -- that Bogut was not the victim of a dirty play. Running out for a court-length pass and breakaway dunk Saturday night against the Suns, Bogut dunked ahead of Amar'e Stoudemire and tried to hang on the rim in an effort to protect himself and Stoudemire.
"If he could've hung onto the rim long enough to get his feet back, he wouldn't have been injured," LeBron James said. "Just a freak accident."
There was no significant contact from Stoudemire, who may have had a hand on Bogut as he went up -- if that. The issue was that as he tried to protect himself by grabbing the rim, Bogut lost his grip and tried to brace the fall with his right arm, which bent catastrophically beneath his entire body weight.
And with it, the Bucks' aspirations of going deep in the playoffs crumpled, too.