The Cleveland Cavaliers have been ravaged by injuries so far in 2022-23 and their bad luck isn’t stopping. Darius Garland and Evan Mobley are already out and to make matters worse, Donovan Mitchell is battling an illness at the moment, which has ruled him out again on Saturday. Sam Merrill stepped up in a big way for the Cavs in a win over the Utah Jazz on Wednesday, but he’s now dealing with a wrist injury and is listed as questionable for this upcoming Bulls matchup, as reported by Chris Fedor. Merrill suffered the injury early in Thursday’s loss to the New Orleans Pelicans and never returned.
Merrill poured in 19 points earlier in the week and then followed that up with a 27-point performance against the Jazz, draining a career-high eight triples in the process. He was single-handedly the difference-maker in leading the Cavs to an improbable win considering they were missing three key players in Spida, Garland, and Mobley. The most special part for Merrill is that he grew up in Utah as a Jazz fan and torched the same organization he idolized as a youngster.
“We all work too hard to not enjoy moments like this for sure,” Merrill said, via Sports Illustrated. “And I’ve worked as hard as I could and felt like there were times where maybe this wasn’t going to work out. To be honest, in high school, my goal was to play Division I basketball. The NBA was never even in my sights. I just didn’t think that was going to happen ’cause guys where I’m from usually don’t and just kept working and working and working.
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“And there’s been ups and downs these last three-and-a-half years since I’ve been out of college. And I grew up in Utah, so I was a huge Jazz fan growing up. So to be able to have a game like that against them is even more special for sure.”
If Merrill can’t go for the Cavs, their rotation will be severely shorthanded. Considering it is a sprain, it’s unlikely Merrill risks it.