Is Anthony Parker free for the rest of the season? How about Delonte West?
It’s doubtful that the Cleveland Cavaliers would really bring back either of those former players, but the team may need to go looking for another guard soon as they now have two guards out of action for at least a week.
All-Star guard Kyrie Irving has already missed a few games due to a shoulder injury, and it is not known yet if he will return to action this season. And now, rookie guard Dion Waiters is out for at least a week after hurting his knee in Monday night’s loss to the Indiana Pacers.
The Cavaliers’ offense (and the team’s hopes for the future) revolves around Irving, who is one of the best young players in the league. When Irving is out of the lineup, the offense is centered in large part around Waiters.
The Cavaliers have played very well against the Heat this season, and with Irving and Waiters in the lineup, they would have had a decent chance to spring the upset. The Heat are coming off of an emotional win over the Boston Celtics, and there is a good chance that they will look past the Cavaliers.
If Irving were able to play so that he could score 25 points, including 10 in the fourth quarter, it would have helped a great deal. If Waiters were available to use his quickness to get past the older Heat guards and get to the rim so that he could throw in 20 or so points, that could have been key to an upset as well.
But with the two young guards out, the Cavaliers will need huge games out of Shaun Livingston, Wayne Ellington, C.J. Miles and Daniel “Boobie” Gibson in the backcourt. There’s certainly a good chance that the Heat will overlook the Cavaliers and that the Wine and Gold will come out with plenty of energy trying to pick up a signature win, but fans should not count too much on the team springing the upset.
The Heat are much more talented, and the Cavaliers will have to play extremely well just to keep the game close. The game will be a great challenge for the Cavaliers, and it will be interesting to see how the players respond.
It will also be interesting to see if the Cavaliers sign another guard to help out the depleted roster. The Cavaliers had a pretty short roster even before Waiters went out, and it would be smart to bring in an NBA D-League player or a free agent to give head coach Byron Scott another guard to work with.
The injury announcement from the Cavaliers states that Waiters is expected to be out for one week. It also says, though, that arthroscopic knee surgery may be needed after the one week, so it is hard to tell just how long Waiters will be out of action.