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604 Free-throw Lane Defender



Seattle, Davis Institute of Traumatic Arthritis.

Although it was called an institute, it was actually a well-known private hospital. The institute's owner, Professor Davis, was an expert in the treatment of knee injuries.

Professor Davis was sitting in front of his computer, carefully looking at the results of an MRI on the computer screen. Davis groaned. "Impossible, how could it fully recover?"

When Wood was injured, he received a consultation from Professor Davis. Davis gave him a treatment plan. Therefore, Davis's Institute of Traumatic Arthritis had Wood's medical records and the results of various tests they had run.

I have experience with hundreds of cruciate ligament tears and no one has been able to recover 100%. Wood is different from other patients. He had serious strain-related injuries and his wounds were more prone to inflammation. Even if surgery were performed, the postoperative complications would be difficult to avoid.

The subsequent tearing of his menisci continued worsened this. Because the cruciate ligament could not fully recover, he was more vulnerable than other athletes and his knees got worse every time he was injured. If he had not rested and continued to play, his knees would only have gotten worse!

Wood's knee injury, from the perspective of medical science, was a death sentence. It was irreversible. Unless new treatment methods were applied...

When he thought about new treatment methods, Professor Davis's eyes sparkled with a burning glow.

Medicine was the fastest-growing scientific field in the world, yet, there were still a large number of diseases that couldn't be cured by medicine. Everyone was sentenced to grow old and die eventually, but everyone wanted to live longer. Medicine that could make people live longer was the easiest kind of medicine to get funding for. It was also the most profitable.

Therefore, if a new method of treating cruciate ligament tears suddenly appeared in the field of medicine, Professor Davis would feel as if his field was better off.

The phone rang and Professor Davis's eyes left the computer screen. He answered the phone.

"Professor Davis, I contacted the Clippers' internal staff through some of my personal contacts. The answer he gave me was the same as what Wood said in the interview. Wood's recovery was entirely through rehabilitation," the person said frankly.

"Rehabilitation training? Haha. That might fool the average person," Davis said disdainfully. After a few seconds, he asked, "Were you able to get Wood's latest MRI results?"

"Well, I am afraid that it is somewhat difficult. It is related to a patient's privacy. Leaking his private details will violate the law..." The other party hesitated.

"I can pay you an extra investigation fee," Davis said. "I am a doctor. I have given Wood treatment. I just want to know how much his knees have recovered. This is an innocent request with the development of medicine in mind."


"In that case, I am willing to contribute to the development of medicine." The other party laughed and said, "Professor, if your time permits, I will collect the check from you tomorrow."

The other party was clearly concerned about the investigation fee.

...

The NBA announced the best player in the first week of the new season.

In terms of his stats, Wood was not the best. His average was 25+7. There were some strong players on other teams that had 25+10 or 30+8. Regarding the team records, the Clippers only had two wins and one loss. It wasn't very impressive compared to other teams in the Western Conference that had three or four consecutive wins.

However, Wood was still named the best player of the week.

He had been the youngest person to become an MVP. He was not short on fans or popularity. Wood sold the most jerseys in the NBA. When he recovered and showed that he was able to perform well, countless fans returned to him. After he was named best player of the week, he gained even more fans.

In the following games, the Clippers defeated the Spurs, the Grizzlies and the Thunder, gaining a three-game win streak.

The Grizzlies had gone through a significant change in their lineup the last few seasons. The once proud key players inside the three-point line were of no use during an era where small ball playstyles were popular. The Grizzlies had just changed their coaches as well. They hadn't had a chance to create a new strategy, so they had been expected to lose to the Clippers.

The Spurs were getting unlucky this season. Their key player was fighting with management as they refused to renew his contract in advance. When the new season started, he refused to play, citing his injury. It was clear that he was not interested in staying on the Spurs and wanted to go to another team that could offer him a high salary. Because of this, the morale of the Spurs was low. The players were not in a mood to compete. Even the Spurs' longtime coach couldn't stabilize the situation. It wasn't unexpected that such a team would lose.

As for the game against the Thunder, it was a battle between superstar defenders.

Wood used to be a regular season MVP. The Thunder's point guard was also a regular season MVP. He was famous for getting triple-doubles. Wood was good at breaking through his opponent's defense and so was the Thunder's MVP point guard. The two of them would inevitably face off in this game.

The last time the two teams competed, both of them had started to compete with each other. They were both point guards, and they were both regular season MVPs. Neither was willing to give in to the other and neither was afraid of the other. When the official game began, they performed equally well. They both played exciting basketball.

The Thunder's point guard averaged three double-doubles in previous seasons. Not a lot of people in the NBA could do this. He received his title as MVP because of this. He scored a triple-double in this game. However, his triple-double was overshadowed by the Clippers' player's triple-double.

It wasn't Wood who had gotten the triple-double; it was the center substitute, Karaby.

Karaby got 13 points, 15 rebounds, and 10 blocks.

In a basketball game, 99% of the triple-doubles were a combination of scores + rebounds + assists. It was difficult for players who didn't have many chances to get ten points. It was possible for those who had an adequate ability in getting rebounds to get ten rebounds. Those who were decent at passing, as long as their teammates weren't too bad, could easily get ten assists as well.

However, getting ten blocks and ten steals required a bit of luck and cooperation.

Karaby had been the blocked shot leader four times. He had achieved four triple-doubles in his career. All in scoring, rebounding and blocking. This was the fifth time he had a triple-double. It wasn't out of the ordinary.

At the "old age" of 35, however, getting a triple-double in scoring, rebounding, and blocking was seen as incredible.

This was thanks to the Thunder. The Thunder's point guard was competing with Wood. Wood scored by breaking through the opponent's defense. He wanted to prove that he was better than Wood, so he kept using the same scoring method as Wood.

The Thunder's defender was good. He was a seven-feet and could shoot from a middle distance. He also had the ability to defend in the free-throw lane. However, he only managed to block one shot the entire game.

On the Clippers' side was Karaby, a four-time blocked shot leader. After using the age-reduction card, he had reverted back to his skill at 30, his prime. Coupled with his years of experience, this old timer was able to determine when his opponent would turn and when they would do a layup. When they attempted to put the ball into the basket, his hand would reach out and block them.

So when the Thunder's point guard insisted on breaking through his opponent's defense to score, the result was obvious. Every attempt to score was a chance for Karaby to block him. Karaby did not hesitate to do so. When he couldn't block the ball, he found ways to interfere with the opponent's layup. This resulted in his triple-double.

A triple-double consisting of scoring, rebounds, and blocks was something that might not happen even once in a season. Such a performance would undoubtedly make the next day's headlines.

People started to notice Karaby's performance this season. He averaged 10.8 points, 12.2 rebounds and 4.3 blocks per game. His stats were high because his triple-double dragged his averages up. 10.8 points and 12.2 rebounds were not expected of a 35-year-old veteran.

When people compared his current performance to when he was the blocked shot leader, they found that them similar. If Karaby maintained his current performance, he would become the best defender in the free-throw lane.

Karaby had been exchanged for Ronny. When they were being traded, many people felt that it was a bad deal for the Clippers to get a first-round draft pick and a 35-year-old veteran in exchange for a young, key player from their team.

Now it seemed that the deal benefited the Clippers. Not only had the Clippers gotten a first-round draft pick, but they had also received one of the best defenders in the free-throw lane.

There was never a shortage of players outside the three-point line who could score in the NBA. There were always rookies with strong attacking abilities every year. However, there was always a shortage of good defenders inside the three-point line. Those who were able to defend in the free-throw lane were not typical players. Even when small ball playstyles were popular, a good defender inside the three-point line was still something that most teams needed if they wanted to become champions. Every strong team wanted to have a player like that.

...

In a luxury apartment in Sacramento, a 40-year-old man was sweating on a treadmill.

He was 6.5 feet tall, had a shaved head, and no tattoos on his muscles. He looked very clean.

The TV hanging on the wall next to him was playing the five best performances in the NBA from yesterday. The first wasn't a shot, but a beautiful block.

It showed Karaby leaping high up, slapping the basketball in the air, and the ball flying to the other half of the court.

"Beautiful block! Karaby is only a few years younger than me, but he can still jump so high! He got a triple-double as well. It seems like he has become a young man again," he said to himself. He pressed the treadmill's pause button and the treadmill slowly stopped.

The man picked up the phone on the table, opened Twitter, and found Karaby.

"Hey, old guy! I can't believe you can still jump!" The man typed.

A few minutes later, Karaby actually replied.

"Flyboy, jealous? I have found youth again! You wanna have a go?"

After the man read the reply, he furrowed his eyebrows.