The Cleveland Cavaliers are in a dreadful downslide, heading towards NBA futility for another season. Most recently, the Cavs will be without the leagues leading rebounder in Anderson Varejao. An exciting and powerful player, he was able to provide a spark night in and night out this season, even on a club with 28 loses. This ultimately means more of a load for last year’s Rookie of the Year and Cleveland’s leading scorer in Kyrie Irving. We will see on Wednesday night how the club will play against the Atlanta Hawks knowing they will be without their center for at least two months.
Believe it or not, this was believed to be just a bruised knee when Varejao went down December 17th versus the Toronto Raptors. Varejao had been averaging a double double of 14 points and rebounds a night–so his presence will surely be missed.
Moving on, he will undergo surgery on Thursday to repair a “longitudinal split” between his right quadriceps and knee. This is not the first time Varejao has missed games due to injury. In fact, his time missed in the last two seasons is incredibly discouraging. In 2011, he missed 51 games as he tore a ligament in his foot and he even missed half of the season in 2012 (41 games) with a broken right wrist. It is apparent this aggressive big man needs to focus most on staying off the operating table as he was on his way to an All-Star berth this year.
This injury spells even more doom for the extremely young Cavaliers team. With Dion Waiters averaging 14.3 points per game, fans have to be happy with his adjustment to the NBA less than halfway through his rookie season. Unfortunately, this franchise is still desperate to win games without the presence of the leagues best player in LeBron James.
Look for other members of the Cavaliers front court to step up while Varejao is sidelined–especially rookie big man Tyler Zeller.