After dropping their last four games, the Cavaliers will be without their starting center for the next month.
As if things couldn’t get worse for the Cleveland Cavaliers, the next month will be spent without Tristan Thompson.
This injury comes as a bit of a shock, as Thompson has been one of the most durable players in the league. In April, the 26-year-old’s streak of 447 consecutive games ended.
Averaging a career-low 4.4 points and 6.4 rebounds, Thompson appears to be a shell of what he once was. He lost his starting job at the beginning of the season, due to the Cavaliers wanting to play small with Kevin Love at center. He regained it, however, the team is still struggling.
What does this mean for the Cavaliers? According to head coach Tyronn Lue, Jae Crowder will slide back in the starting lineup, and Channing Frye will get more playing time. At least for now.
This injury is a big blow. The absence of Isaiah Thomas doesn’t help, either. Iman Shumpert has also been battling the injury bug, dealing with knee soreness. When asked about the team’s difficulties, LeBron James talked about the team’s health.
“We have an opportunity to be very good and then you see some of the lulls that we have and it’s just very difficult on our team right now,” James said. “We’re just trying to figure it out on the fly. So, our team is kind of depleted as well, both on and off the floor.”
Battling injuries isn’t foreign territory for Cleveland. They’ve been doing it every season since LeBron James returned. They lost Kyrie Irving and Love in the ’14-’15 postseason. The Irving injury lasted until Christmas in ’15-’16. Finally, they were without Love for six weeks last season due to a knee injury.
The unusual part is the hole the Cavaliers are digging themselves early in the season. In one of the easiest stretches in the league, this team has lost to the Orlando Magic, Brooklyn Nets, New Orleans Pelicans, New York Knicks and now the Pacers. This team should easily be 8-0.
The Cavaliers travel to Washington, D.C. tomorrow to play the Washington Wizards.