Darius Garland’s return to the Cleveland Cavaliers remains uncertain as he deals with the left eye injury he sustained in their season opener against the Toronto Raptors. With that said, the Cavs have now made a decision on his replacement in the starting lineup while he recovers.
According to Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com, third-year swingman Isaac Okoro will step into the starting lineup as the temporary replacement for the All-Star guard. The Cavs, meanwhile, basically confirmed the report by announcing their starting five for Saturday’s game against the Chicago Bulls.
Aside from Okoro’s addition, the starting unit remains the same. Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley will continue to anchor the frontcourt, while Caris LeVert and Donovan Mitchell will be manning the backcourt and the wings alongside Okoro.
— Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs) October 22, 2022
Darius Garland’s absence is a big blow to the Cavs. After all, he was their main scorer during the 2021-22 campaign en route to an All-Star year.
Isaac Okoro is known more for his defense, with his offense leaving much to be desired, so it will be wrong to expect him to drop 20-plus points like Garland. Fortunately for the Cavs, they added Donovan Mitchell during the offseason. The former Utah Jazz star is certainly more than capable of carrying the offense while his fellow star guard is sidelined.
Garland is also expected to be out when Cleveland plays the Washington Wizards on Sunday. Beyond that, however, it remains to be seen whether or not he can re-join the team and suit up in their next game.