The Cleveland Cavaliers have been on a bit of a tear lately, winning four of their last five games, but a win versus the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday could be harder to come by than originally expected.
That’s because Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland could both miss the game due to injuries.
Both star guards are questionable heading into the game. Garland’s status is up in the air due to soreness in his right thumb while Mitchell is dealing with soreness in his groin.
As Cavs fans know well, the team’s offense runs through both of its star guards. Though the Cavs do have solid backup options on the roster in the backcourt, it would be very hard to replace the production from both Mitchell and Garland.
If Mitchell and Garland ultimately have to miss the game, Ricky Rubio and Caris LeVert could slide into the starting lineup.
With that in mind, if there was one team in the Eastern Conference to face off against while short-handed, it is arguably the Pistons. They are once again one of the worst teams in the league this season and currently have just 14 wins.
At this point in the campaign, the Pistons are essentially looking toward the 2023 NBA Draft and offseason.
With each loss, Detroit improves its chances of earning the No. 1 overall pick and the opportunity to draft French phenom Victor Wembanyama.
As for the Cavs, their recent string of wins has allowed them to strengthen their grip on a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
They have reclaimed the No. 4 seed in the East and are just two games back from the No. 3 seed.
Heading into Wednesday’s matchup against the Pistons, the Cavs have just five games left before the All-Star break. Surely, the Cavs will look to continue to stack wins in those five games to enter the back end of the regular season with solid momentum.
Wins should be attainable in those upcoming games, as three out of the five matchups will come against teams with losing records.
Cleveland’s final game before the break should be a really exciting one. The contest will certainly have a strong playoff feel, as it will pit the Cavs against the Philadelphia 76ers.