Cleveland Cavaliers guard Darius Garland admitted a thumb injury he suffered in the fourth quarter of a game against the Indiana Pacers hindered his ability to confidently score a pair of free throws, Cleveland.com Cavs reporter Chris Fedor wrote in a Friday report.
“(The thumb injury) was bothering me a lot,” he said. “I was just trying to go out there and compete as much as I could. The last two free throws, I looked at J.B. and I was like, ‘Ah, I really don’t want to shoot these.’ But I got fouled and just tried to make two.
“They didn’t go in. Everything hurt. I was playing with a wrapped thumb. I couldn’t really do anything. I wasn’t going to be effective with that. It was already throbbing and swollen at that point.”
The 22-year-old Cavs guard spoke out about the lack of calls on what he believed were obvious fouls in the Pacers game and beyond.
“Just getting hacked all season,” Darius Garland said. “Nothing has changed. The physicality isn’t a factor at all. It’s the whistle not being blown at the right time when it’s a foul, an obvious foul. Some of this stuff we should be reviewing.”
Garland, who missed five games and had to make adjustments to his dribbling after an injury to his right eye, said he wanted to take extra precautions to protect himself against more aggressive defenses. His determination on offense led to his left hand being wrapped in ice after he dove to try and save a loose ball against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
“I told them I need a mask at this point or some goggles or something because it’s getting out of hand,” Darius Garland said. “I’m just tired of getting hit in my face.
“But I like the aggressive defenses. It’s kind of a statement to me and my game. It’s super cool that people are just trying to tighten up their shoelaces for me.”