Amidst their six-game winning streak, the Cleveland Cavaliers are now dealing with a thin roster due to a COVID outbreak. The Cavs already had one game postponed vs. the Hawks Sunday; they could not scrounge up enough players to realistically participate in the game. Ahead of their game against the Celtics Wednesday evening, Cleveland has eight players out that are in the NBA’s Health and Safety protocols. Among the unavailable are Jarrett Allen, Evan Mobley and Isaac Okoro — who recently hit his stride. They will be without three key starters and multiple reserves that would have seen playing time with starters out.
Surely, this will be a very tough ask for the Cavaliers with a thin roster. However, the Wine and Gold have dealt with many inactive players before this season. They can still win even with a porous roster.
The Cavaliers can still Win, Even with Many Players Out
This situation is certainly frustrating for the Cavs after finally getting healthy. Cleveland had most of their full roster active finally, and all things were clicking as they worked up the Eastern Conference standings. Now, this next obstacle could be a setback that causes the Cavaliers to slide in standings. But still, they should not be counted out as the Cavs have been a major surprise this season.
Cleveland is fortunate to at least have Darius Garland, Lauri Markkanen and Ricky Rubio available. One could argue Garland has been the star of the show this season, while Rubio has been their best bench player. Plus, Markkanen has been a major factor defensively and has added several impressive showings for the Cavs. Cedi Osman is enjoying a career season and will be available as well.
The Cavaliers still have some pieces that could allow them to win games. If they can simply go .500 with many players out, that would be a success. The Celtics await on Wednesday, followed by the Raptors on Sunday. The entire NBA is struggling with the recent COVID surge, and the NBA intends to keep playing. At the end of the day, Cleveland is not the only team with roster issues right now and must find a way to conquer more adversity.
Featured image courtesy of NBA Getty Images
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