Former NBA guard who also broke his jaw says Darius Garland will make ‘seamless’ Cavs return

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Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Lou Williams isn’t worried about how Darius Garland will perform once he makes his return to the lineup for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The former NBA guard spoke on his experience recovering from a broken jaw when he was playing with the Philadelphia 76ers organization.

“I broke my jaw in one of the best seasons I was having, when I was playing for the 76ers,” Williams said. “I wouldn’t wish that on anybody. I had my jaw wired shut for eight weeks. Everything is through a straw, and I learned early in that process that everything isn’t meant to be blended in a drink. Yeah, so this is gonna be tough for him. One of the positives about it I was able to work out the entire time. Even though my breathing was affected a little bit, I was still able to get on the court, get a lot of shots up, still get some conditioning in. And so Darius Garland, I feel like he’s gonna come back, and it’s gonna be seamless.”

Garland’s return to the floor for the Cavaliers is seemingly on the horizon after he has been sidelined for over a month with a fractured jaw. The plan is for him to play in Cleveland’s matchup against the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday.

In his fifth season in the NBA and with the Cavaliers, Garland is averaging 20.7 points, 2.8 rebounds and 5.9 assists per game while shooting 47.0 percent from the field and 34.6 percent from 3-point range across 20 appearances.

The guard put together one of his best performances of the season so far shortly before he went down with a jaw injury. Against the Orlando Magic on Dec. 11, he totaled 36 points on 11-of-23 shooting from the field to go along with six rebounds, five assists and two steals.

Another one of Cleveland’s top players in Evan Mobley was sidelined for an extended period of time with a knee injury. He took the court for the Cavaliers for the first time since Dec. 6 in the team’s home win over the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday. Mobley logged just 21 minutes of playing time and racked up 10 points, nine rebounds and one steal on 5-of-7 shooting from the floor.

Cleveland’s win over the Clippers marked the team’s ninth win over its past 10 games. The Cavaliers weathered the absences of Mobley and Garland as well as fans could have hoped for, as after a forgettable start to the season, Cleveland owns the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference and is just two-and-a-half games back of the Milwaukee Bucks for the No. 2 seed.

The Cavaliers shouldn’t have a problem beating the Pistons in their upcoming game on Wednesday. While the Pistons earned a win in their most recent game and have been playing better basketball than they were during their historic losing streak, they still own the worst record in the NBA at 6-40.

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Jesse is a sports journalist with extensive experience covering the NBA. He has worked as a staff writer at SB Nation’s CelticsBlog and The Knicks Wall.