The Cleveland Cavaliers have been playing some exciting basketball through the first 15 games of the regular season. They currently sit at 9-6 and in 5th place in the Eastern Conference despite having their full roster together for only seven of those fifteen games.
Players have unfortunately begun dropping like flies since November 1st when Kevin Love entered the NBA's health and safety protocols and has not played in a game since. Just two days later on November 3rd starting small forward Laurie Marekannen also entered the health and safety protocols and has been out since. Then came high scoring guard Collin Sexton who injured his knee during the Cavaliers 126-109 win over the Knicks on November 7th. He was diagnosed with a small meniscus tear in his right knee that will leave him sidelined a minimum of 4 weeks. The Cavaliers have managed to go 2-2 with wins over Detroit and Boston since Sexton's injury but have not topped 100 points once.
Collin Sexton getting some shots up shots after the November 10th loss to the Wizards
Video Credit: Evan Dammarell
Before Monday night's game against the Celtics, it was announced that Jarrett Allen would miss the game with a non-covid related illness. He is also expected to miss Wednesday's game at Brooklyn. During the Monday night loss against Boston prized rookie Evan Mobley, who is leading the race for NBA Rookie of the Year, got his right arm tied up going for a rebound and ended up with a sprain of his right elbow. He is expected to miss 2 to 4 weeks. Energy man Lamar Stevens is also currently out with a knee injury.
It is possible that Love makes his return tomorrow night in Brooklyn, but the Cavaliers will be without Markannen, Sexton, Allen, Mobley and Stevens for that game and possibly Thursday as well when they host the 11-2 Golden State Warriors. Markannen is getting close to returning as he was cleared to return to the Cavaliers bench during Monday's loss to the Celtics.
It's just more adversity for a team that has already faced plenty of it early on. Can they keep overcoming the odds of being short handed on a nightly basis while waiting for their key players to return? The next four games they face the Nets, Warriors, Nets again and the Suns. This team appears to be for real but will need to continue defying the odds and tread water in the East until they are back at full strength in the next 4 weeks or so...assuming nobody else goes down in the meantime.
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