The Cavaliers were expected to come out of a successful All-Star weekend in Cleveland at full strength (minus Collin Sexton) for the first time since acquiring Caris Levert. Instead they came out down two key rotation pieces entering the back half of the schedule and lost another rotation player during the Detroit game on Thursday.
The same back issue that was giving Darius Garland issues before the All-Star break has now kept him out of first two games coming out of the break. New Cavaliers GM Mike Gansey appeared on the Ken Carman show on 92.3 The Fan Friday and talked about the Garland injury.
"The thing with his back is one day he feels great then the next his is sore," said Gansey. "It's a bone bruise and it's a feel thing."
Gansey also stated that the best thing for Garland at this point is rest. I think this is where a lot of Cavalier fans have an issue with how it's being handled. If the best thing for Garland is rest then why allow him to participate in the Skills Challenge and play 24 minutes in the All-Star game? Instead they have chosen to rest him periodically throughout the rest of the schedule. So far he has missed the Pistons game on Thursday in which the Cavaliers lost and Saturday's home victory over Washington. It's obvious that they are not even close to the same team with Garland sidelined. With a tough stretch of games coming up to open the month of March, Garland is definitely going to be needed to maintain a playoff position in the East.
Another disappointing development was the news that newly acquired Caris Levert will miss up to two weeks with a sprained foot. The injury was suffered at practice this past Tuesday. It's definitely a setback for both the team and Levert as he is working to find his way with his new team and coach J.B. Bickerstaff is still figuring out the best way to use Levert.
Then came the injury to backup point guard Rajon Rondo who sprained a toe in the 4th quarter of the Pistons game and did not return. He is expected to miss two weeks. The Cavaliers are now down to Brandon Goodwin and Tim Frazier at the point guard position. Frazier is an 8-year veteran who was signed to a 10-day contract on Friday.
The Cavs are facing their biggest test of the season with tough games against the best teams in the East in the coming weeks. While Levert and Rondo should be back in 2 weeks or less, it is unknown at this time how many games Garland will miss. At this writing the Cavs are still in a good spot sitting 5th in the East and only 3.5 games behind 1st place Miami and Chicago. Here is to hoping this trio returns as soon as possible.
Make sure you check out all of our podcasts at Believeland Media LLC! Click on the images below to access.