Iman Shumpert suffered a groin strain in the third quarter of Cleveland’s Game 2 win over the Bulls on Wednesday, and while he did return to the contest to play an additional four minutes, it could be serious enough to where he’s forced to miss some time.
“There’s a chance of that,” Blatt said. “The hope is that he’ll be able to play, but we need a little more time.”
After he got hurt, Shumpert told LeBron James he felt something “pop.” He hobbled to the locker room, but soon returned and rode a stationary bike before re-entering the game. Blatt said the injury isn’t as bad as first feared.
“He’s feeling a little bit better than we originally expected and that’s a positive,” he said, “but we’re monitoring and hoping that he’ll continue to progress.”
The good news for the Cavaliers is that they’ll get J.R. Smith back, who missed the first two games of the series after being suspended for leveling Boston’s Jae Crowder in the closeout game against the Celtics.
Shumpert has played well in these first two games against the Bulls, and has done so on both ends of the floor. If he can’t go in Game 3, it will force the Cavaliers to once again juggle unfamiliar lineups as two key players (Kevin Love included) remain missing from the regular rotation.
Shumpert has averaged 17.3 points and six rebounds over his last three playoff games, and had gotten the start in both games against the Bulls while Smith had been sidelined.