Cleveland must get by a little longer without Smith.
Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith suffered a right knee contusion during the first quarter of last night’s game in Philadelphia against the 76ers. Additional examination and MRI today at Cleveland Clinic Sports Health have confirmed the contusion and also revealed quadriceps tendinitis . Smith will be OUT for the next two Cavs games (11/4 against New York and 11/6 against Philadelphia, both at Quicken Loans Arena) and is DOUBTFUL for Sunday’s game against Indiana also at Quicken Loans Arena..
The Knicks and 76ers aren’t the toughest opponents, especially in Cleveland. The Pacers have also struggled early. Even if Smith needs more time, the Cavaliers’ following game is also at home, albeit against a tougher opponent in the Jazz.
As always with Cleveland, the goal is being healthy and clicking for the playoffs. It still seems the Cavs sleepwalk to at least the Eastern Conference finals, maybe all the way to the NBA Finals.
They’ll need to get through this stretch, but LeBron James, Mo Williams, Matthew Dellavedova, Richard Jefferson, Jared Cunningham, James Jones and Joe Harris can each do a little more. The Cavaliers are deep enough that they don’t need to rely on one player to compensate for Smith’s absence.