The Cleveland Cavaliers have a highly anticipated matchup on Friday night against the defending Eastern Conference champion Boston Celtics, and they’ll reportedly have to try to get the win without their All-Star guard Darius Garland.
#Cavs Darius Garland is officially listed OUT for tomorrow night’s game here in Boston.
— Chris Fedor (@ChrisFedor) October 27, 2022
Garland has been recovering from an eye injury that he suffered in his team’s season opener versus the Toronto Raptors and hasn’t played since.
Though Friday’s game was initially targeted for his return, it seems like the Cavs medical staff is playing it safe with Garland’s recovery.
Given how the Cavs have been performing in Garland’s absence, it’s not all that shocking that the team seems to be playing it safe with his return. The Cavs have won three straight games.
In Garland’s sole appearance this season, he didn’t put in much of a performance. He played just 13 minutes and logged four points, three assists, two steals, one block and one rebound before exiting the game. He also committed five turnovers.
That lackluster performance is no cause for concern, and his teammates are surely excited for his eventual return.
That is not to say the Cavs have really needed him over the last three games, however. Donovan Mitchell has been leading the way for his new team and is currently averaging an impressive 28.5 points, 7.3 assists and 5.0 rebounds per game this season.
A very real argument can be made that Mitchell is the most dangerous offensive weapon that the Cavs have had since LeBron James departed the team in 2018.
Along with Mitchell, the Cavs’ two frontcourt stars are also playing well together.
Jarrett Allen is averaging 13.5 points, 11.5 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game. Evan Mobley is averaging 15.5 points and 4.8 rebounds per game while shooting 57.5 percent from the field.
Those three will lead the Cavs’ charge against the Celtics on Friday night. After that, Garland’s next opportunity to take the floor with his teammates will be on Sunday evening against the surging New York Knicks.
The Cavs have gotten off to a great start, and the fact that they are winning games despite an injury to one of their All-Stars is a testament to just how talented the roster is.