While the Cavs will be without start point guard Darius Garland for the contest, the Bulls are set to get back Zach LaVine, who missed the team’s first two games due to management for his left knee.
Zach LaVine is not listed on the Bulls’ just-released injury report.
So as expected, he’s scheduled to make his season debut vs. Cavaliers tonight.
— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) October 22, 2022
LaVine underwent surgery on his knee back in May, and the Bulls have been cautious with him. The team went 1-1 in his absence, beating the Miami Heat on Wednesday night and losing to the Washington Wizards on Friday night.
DeMar DeRozan has shouldered the scoring load for the team in LaVine’s absence. He torched the Heat to the tune of 37 points and put up 32 points against the Wizards.
As for the Cavs, they lost their first game of the season on Wednesday to the Toronto Raptors. Donovan Mitchell had a great debut for the team, recording 31 points and nine assists, but people mostly were concerned about Garland. He had to leave the game after suffering a left eye laceration.
It seems like he also won’t be available for the team’s home opener on Sunday against the Wizards. That makes Saturday’s game even more important.
#Cavs Darius Garland didn't come here to Chicago. He is not with the team. The Cavs practiced today at UIC and have been preparing as if he wouldn't be available. The current feeling is Sunday's home opener is improbable as well. But nothing official has been decided on Sunday.
— Chris Fedor (@ChrisFedor) October 21, 2022
Cleveland doesn’t want to put itself into a deep hole early on in the season. In these types of situations, it’s important to have other stars on the roster.
Last season, the Cavs went 7-7 without Garland. When he was out, the team struggled mightily on offense and didn’t really have anyone to create for others.
Now, it has Mitchell, a player who is used to leading squads on offense, on the roster. The three-time All-Star holds career averages of 23.9 points and 4.5 assists per game.
Saturday’s game is scheduled to tip off at 8 p.m. EST.