Just when you thought things couldn’t get any worse for the Cleveland Cavaliers, the situation just got about 1,000 times worse.
The Cavs finished the first 10 games of the regular season with a 2-8 record, and fans have been scrambling for a win and looking for signs of hope.
Today, hope seems to have left town, at least for a few weeks, as the Cavs have announced that star point guard Kyrie Irving will be out for four weeks with an injury.
Irving is the Cavs leader and is one of the most exciting young players in the NBA. He is keeping the Cavs in games, and is playing as well as any guard in the league.
Irving is shooting well from the outside, getting to the rim a lot and knocking down big shots.
So far this season, he is averaging 22.9 points (currently sixth in the league) and 5.6 assists per game. He is shooting 46 percent from the field and is also pulling down 3.7 points per game. He makes the Cleveland offense go, and he is an incredibly exciting player to watch.
According to information posted on the Cavs website, Irving injured his left index finger in the third quarter of the Cavs game against the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday. He finished that game, and also played against the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday.
Medical tests have shown that Irving has a hairline/non-displaced fracture in the finger and he will be treated with tape and a splint.
He is projected to be out for at least four weeks, and will be re-evaluated after two weeks.
In addition to Irving’s injury, guard Daniel “Boobie” Gibson hurt his right elbow in the game against the Mavs. He also finished that game and played only in the first quarter against the 76ers on Sunday. He is cleared to play and is not expected to miss any games.
Forward Tristan Thompson, meanwhile, apparently liked Tyler Zeller’s mask so much that he will now be wearing one. In the Sunday game in Philadelphia, Thompson suffered a “nasal contusion,” which apparently is a cut, and it was discovered on Monday that he has a broken bone in his nose.
He is being fitted for a mask and is projected to play on Wednesday in the rematch against the 76ers in Cleveland.
So what does all of this mean for the Cavs?
It means trouble.
The Cavs only have 2 wins so far this year, and now they will be playing without their leading scorer and playmaker for an extended period of time. And this comes at a time when the team needs to pick up some wins soon or risk being at the bottom of the league standings for the entire year.
Irving’s absence could be looked at as a good opportunity for someone else to step up, but so far no one on the bench has shown that he can do that. Gibson and Zeller have been the only consistent performers off the bench and no one else in the second unit has contributed a whole lot.
Irving’s absence could force other players to step up, and if you look at it that way, then it will make the whole team better when Irving returns. If that happens, then that will be great.
But if no one steps up, there’s a good chance that the Cavs might still be stuck on two wins when Irving returns at the end of December.