CLEVELAND, OH – With injuries to starting point guard Kyrie Irving and forward/center Anderson Varejao, the (10-16) Cleveland Cavaliers would loss their second game of a nine-game home stand to the (19-9)Philadelphia 76ers, 99-84
Varejao, the Brazilian power forward/center who was on a All-Star-like double-double binge, would suffer a fractured wrist in the Cavalier’s 103-102 loss to Milwaukee would join Irving and starting shooting guard Anthony Parker on the Cavaliers bench courtside Saturday evening.
Power forward Antawn Jamison would lead the Cavs with 20 points on 8-of-16 shooting in 31 minutes, back-up point guard Ramon Sessions would add 17 points on 8-of-15 shooting in 32 minutes and small forward Alonzo Gee would add 17 points on 8-of-15 shooting.
This recent streak of adversity for the young Cavaliers could prove to be either a blessing on a curse, as Cleveland will now have to rely on its bench of Ryan Hollins, Luke Harangody, Ben Uzoh, Samardo Samuels, Christian Eyenga and Tristan Thompson to carry them until Irving, Varejao and Parker come back.
The go-to player for the Cavaliers who will have to carry the load right now is Jamison.
In his last five games, Jamison has averaged 25.0 points, 9.0 rebounds in 36.0 minutes, and for the season has averaged 16.7 points and six rebounds per game in 31.9 minutes.
The Cavaliers have reliable shooters in Daniel Gibson and Sessions in the backcourt and a talented—yet raw talent in Turkish center Semih Erden—down low who can take some pressure off of Jamison, the key for Cleveland is to play at a consistent tempo and energy.
Until Irving, Varejao and Parker are fully healthy, Jamison will have to shoulder the brunt of the scoring load in Cleveland, and as Jamison goes, so goes the Cavaliers.
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