The Cleveland Cavaliers have not gotten off to the start they hoped to, and were dealt a major blow this week. Backup point guard Matthew Dellavedova injured his left knee in Tuesday’s loss to the Portland Trail Blazers, and a Cleveland Plain-Dealer report the next day indicated that he had suffered a sprained MCL.
On Sunday, the Cavs confirmed the news and put a timetable on the injury:
The Cavs announce Matthew Dellavedova has a MCL sprain in his L knee. Will be out 4-6 weeks.
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) November 9, 2014
The Cavs lose a key piece of their rotation with this injury. Given the defensive struggles of Kyrie Irving, Dellavedova played an important role as a backcourt stopper in the second unit.
If Dellavedova misses four weeks, the optimistic end of the recovery timeline, he will miss Cleveland’s next 12 games, which include matchups with the Pelicans, Hawks, Spurs, Wizards (twice) and Raptors. Any additional time could put him in jeopardy for two more games against the Raptors, as well as the Thunder and Hornets.
This isn’t a catastrophe for the Cavs. It’s not losing one of their three superstars. But they will miss Dellavedova defensively, and the hole will put a greater burden on the rest of the backcourt to pick up the slack defensively.