Top 5 Injuries And How They’ll Affect The Eastern Conference Playoffs
4. Anderson Varejao
-Torn right achilles, December 23rd (2014)
-Will not return this season
Varejao came into this season a very happy man, having signed a 3 year, $30 million contract in the off-season. Also, his close friend and former teammate LeBron James decided to return to the Cavs. Evidently, expectations were high for the Brazilian. Varejao played decently well in the starting lineup, averaging 9.8 points, 6.5 reb, and 1.3 assists per game. Up until Varejao’s injury, the Cavs were 17-11. This was good, but not great considering that they have the best player in the planet on the team. Unfortunately, Varejao tore his achilles and the Cavs were left without a starting center. You can see the injury at the 1:15 mark of the video below:
Tristan Thompson started a few games, but GM David Griffin ultimately decided that they needed to make a trade. The Cavs sent two first round picks to Denver on January 8th in exchange for Russian Center Timofey Mozgov, a known shot blocker. Since the trade, in addition to the JR Smith/Iman Shumpert trade, the Cavs have been on a roll. The Cavs were the only team in the east to make a trade(s) following the season-ending injury of a player. Because of this, the Cavs are currently sitting at 2nd in the east, only trailing the Atlanta Hawks. Although Varejao’s injury was a huge problem for the Cavs, they recovered very well. In many ways, Mozgov is a huge upgrade over Varejao.
Click “Next” to see the third injury and the impact it’s had on the Eastern Conference!