As The Injuries Pile Up, The Cavs’ Confidence Remain Intact
Last postseason, everyone knew about the Cleveland Cavaliers’ injury woes and how it affected their title hopes. Three players suffered season ending injuries on different occasions and one can argue that the Cavaliers could have had a more desirable end to last year’s campaign if any one of those injured players had been available in the finals.
The outlook coming into the new season was very bright with an intact roster buoyed by solid acquisitions. The only catch, and LeBron James even confirmed this, was the dreaded injury bug.
“Injuries are probably the only thing that can stop us long term.”
The Cavs’ do have quite an injury profile with a number of their key players either recovering or has recently suffered a major injury.
For starters, Anderson Varejao is expected to be 100% to start the season but we all know how he easily gets hurt because of his devil-may-care style of play. Timofey Mozgov is fresh off a knee surgery. Kevin Love is coming off a shoulder operation. While Kyrie Irving is still without a return date after suffering a fractured kneecap.
To make matters worse, Iman Shumpert, another player with a spotty injury history, recently broke his wrist and has been projected to be out for the next three to four months.
How do all these brittleness affect the Cleveland Cavaliers’ chances going forward? Not drastically.
When healthy, Cleveland is arguably the best team in the league. They are built for a deep postseason run and that’s the time when all their players are expected to be in tip-top shape. The team’s explosiveness, experience, and depth will be its ticket to the June parade.
Having a number of players sit out disrupts the team’s chemistry but in the Cavaliers’ case, their core group has already gone through the fire together.
Also, let’s not forget that the Cavs are situated in the relatively weak Eastern Conference. The team has enough talent and cohesiveness to guarantee itself a second seed as a minimum and if they reach the finals, homecourt advantage won’t be that much of an issue.
The Cavaliers have the players that are very capable of filling in for their wounded teammates and a distinct advantage that they will have come playoff time, even without home court, is that they will parade not only the deepest lineup but also the best player.
For now, it’s next man up.