The Cleveland Cavaliers’ struggle to penetrate the NBA Eastern Conference playoff zone has again encountered a stumbling block because their debutant, Evan Mobley, is certain to miss the home game against the Dallas Mavericks, Thursday (31/3) WIB.
Mobley injured his left ankle when the Cavaliers beat the Orlando Magic, Tuesday (29/3) WIB, after landing at the feet of opposing player, Franz Wagner, after firing a shot.
The incident saw Mobley limping into the dressing room midway through the second quarter and not returning to the floor for the remainder of the game.
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The Cavaliers did not elaborate further on Mobley’s situation, but his name was listed on the injured list.
The absence of a player who was drafted as the third choice of the 2021 NBA Draft and has so far been one of the candidates for Rookie of the Year with an average score of 14.9 points and 8.3 rebounds in 67 appearances as a starter adds to the long list of injuries experienced by the Cavaliers.
The Cavaliers have already lost their top scorer Collin Sexton, veteran guard Ricky Rubio, and forward Dean Wade who will certainly not be playing again this season.
Then centre-back Jarrett Allen, who made his All-Star debut this season, is also ruled out of the game against the Mavericks, leaving him sidelined for 12 straight games with a broken finger.
The Cavaliers have also been unable to field senior guard Rajon Rondo for the last eight games, who has injured his right ankle.
This situation further complicates the situation for the Cavaliers considering they have also lost Caris LeVert, Lauri Markkanen and Darius Garland for a short period of time this season.
Cavaliers head coach JB Bickerstaff is faced with a major challenge to rotate his team in an attempt to penetrate the Eastern playoff zone.
“I don’t know if there are other teams that have experienced what we went through, Caris is absent, Lauri is absent, DG is absent and others,” said aging forward Kevin Love after the victory against Magic.
“We have some people who can fill the void and do well, but we are the type of team whose main strength lies in the whole team. When we are all intact, we are better,” he added.
The Cavaliers, currently, are seventh in the Eastern Conference standings with a 42-33 win-loss record and one game adrift of the Toronto Raptors (43-32), who are distended in the automatic playoff zone. (Ant/OL-1)