What will keep the Cavaliers, who are an East-best 9-3, from winning the conference?
Probably nothing short of injury.
Center Timofey Mozgov experienced a strained right deltoid during the second quarter of last night’s game against Milwaukee at The Q. Additional examination and MRI today at Cleveland Clinic Sports Health confirmed the strain. Mozgov will be OUT approximately 10 days to two weeks.
Guard Mo Williams missed last night’s game vs the Bucks and received additional examination and MRI today at Cleveland Clinic Sports Health, which showed posterior right ankle inflammation, along with continued soreness. He is listed as OUT for tomorrow’s game at The Q against Atlanta and doubtful for Monday’s contest vs. Orlando, also at The Q.
If Mozgov returns on schedule, he’ll miss four to five games. Cleveland’s upcoming schedule:
- Saturday: vs. Hawks
- Monday: vs. Magic
- Wednesday: at Raptors
- Nov. 28: at Hornets
- Dec. 1 vs. Wizards
Tristan Thompson could move into the starting lineup, and as last year’s playoffs showed, he can handle a bigger role. Thompson (24.8) was already playing more minutes per game than Mozgov (20.8). Anderson Varejao will likely receive more playing time, and he might start if David Blatt wants to keep Thompson coming off the bench. Sasha Kaun could also join the rotation.
Williams had done a stellar job replacing Irving in the starting lineup. Matthew Dellavedova, who started against the Bucks last night, will likely start as long as Williams as out. Dellavedova starting points to Thompson also starting, because those two share such good chemistry. When Dellavedova sits, Jared Cunningham likely relieves him.