Cleveland Cavaliers receive brutal Darius Garland injury news
Thursday’s schedule in the NBA night was tough for the Cleveland Cavaliers. They had the record for fastest 3-pointer in a game set against them by Buddy Hield, who stole the opening tip that Jarrett Allen won, turned and drained a 3-pointer three seconds into the game.
It was a back and forth affair most of the night until Indiana took control in the second half. They outscored Cleveland by 13 in the third and fourth quarters en route to a 135-126 victory.
Not only was the result a disappointment for the Cavaliers, but they also suffered more than one loss on their record. Point guard Darius Garland injured his thumb late in the game, and while he was able to finish and return to the game, there are concerns that he will have to miss some time.
“Just been hacked all season,” Garland said after the game Thursday. “Nothing has changed. The physicality is not a factor at all. It is the whistle that is not blown at the right time when there is a foul, an obvious foul. Some of those things we should consider.”
Garland stayed on the field for two possessions before JB Bickerstaff called a timeout and he went to the end of the bench for treatment. He re-entered the game a few minutes late with a wrap on his hand, but appeared to be more of a decoy as he did not attempt a shot or score a point after re-entering.
Garland was a very good free throw shooter, and uncharacteristically missed two foul shots late in the game as well, which likely stemmed from the thumb injury.
“It bothered me a lot,” Garland admitted. “I just tried to go out and compete as much as I could. The last two free throws I looked at JB and thought, ‘Ah, I really don’t want to shoot these.’ But I was down and just tried to make two. They didn’t go in. Everything hurt. I was playing with a twisted thumb. I couldn’t really do anything. I wasn’t going to be efficient with it. It was already throbbing and swelling that time.”
It’s certainly not a positive sign for Garland, who already missed time this season after an accidental eye poke by Gary Trent Jr. in the season opener caused him to miss five games. While the Cavaliers would undoubtedly prefer him in the lineup, at least they know they can find success when he’s on the sidelines.
Cleveland went 5-0 during that stretch earlier in the season when Donovan Mitchell put the team on his back. Overall, the Cavaliers are 6-0 without Garland this season, a testament to the work Bickerstaff is doing to have his team ready no matter what obstacles they face.
Garland hopes to be ready for the team’s game Saturday night against the Chicago Bulls, but no official update has been given. With a five-game road trip starting next week, the Cavaliers will surely want to make sure Garland is healthy and ready for that stretch.