Cleveland, Ohio — Unfortunately, the Cavs won’t be at full strength for their highly anticipated home opener on Friday night.
According to sources from cleveland.com, starting point guard Darius Garland will not be playing against Oklahoma City due to a left hamstring strain.
Garland was listed as questionable before the game, and after not participating in Friday morning’s shootaround, sources say the Cleveland team will take a cautious approach. Alongside Garland, center Jarrett Allen will also be sidelined due to a bone bruise in his ankle, which had already kept him out during training camp and the preseason.
Allen has been out of action since October 7 and is not expected to play in either of the games this weekend. Friday night marks the beginning of a back-to-back with the Indiana Pacers visiting Cleveland on Saturday. The Cavs will then have a few days off before facing the New York Knicks in a rematch of their first-round playoff series. Sources suggest that the Cavs are optimistic about Allen making his season debut during that game.
During Friday night’s press conference, Cavs coach J.B. Bickerstaff commented, “He’s back on the floor. He’s running, and then it’s just a matter of once he’s comfortable, once his conditioning is where he feels confident and then where the medical staff is with him and their comfort level to let him get out there.”
Without Garland and Allen, who are two of the expected starters this season, sources reveal that Bickerstaff plans to use Donovan Mitchell, Isaac Okoro, Max Strus, Dean Wade, and Evan Mobley as the temporary starting lineup. This will be the debut game for Wade, who was unable to play in Wednesday night’s 114-113 season-opening victory against the Brooklyn Nets due to illness.
Notably, Garland opted to sit out two of Cleveland’s four pre-season games, but he was able to play without any issues in Brooklyn and scored 15 points in 32 minutes during that game.
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