Dribbles: Another Game, Another City, As Shorthanded Cavs Try To Stay Afloat

Random dribbles ahead of the Cavaliers’ road game vs. the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday.Darius garland and Dean Wade, Cleveland Cavaliers, NBA

1. Remember the last time the Cavs came off a miraculous win? It was a mere week ago when Max Strus buried a 59-footer to beat Dallas at the buzzer.

2. Then the Cavs flew to Chicago, where they lost in double overtime.

3. Well, guess what? The Cavs rallied from 22-down to beat Boston on Tuesday, capped by a dunk from Dean Wade that proved to be the game-winner.

4. Then the Cavs flew to Atlanta.

5. It’s true that the NBA schedule is rarely fair. It never lets you stay too up or too down for very long. There’s always another game. And that again is the Cavs’ plight.

6. At least they get a day off before hosting West-leading Minnesota on Friday. Back in the old days, you sometimes had to play three games in three nights. That doesn’t make today’s travel any easier. It sure doesn’t mean anything to today’s Cavs.

7. For the majority of Tuesday’s win, the Cavs looked like a team that was down and way out. But they found a way. Given their injury situation, that is likely to be the story if they are to stay in third in the East. They’ll just have to piece something together.

8. Against the Hawks, the Cavs will be without Donovan Mitchell. You already know that. They will again be without Strus, too. He also has a knee issue. And in case that wasn’t enough, they will be missing Evan Mobley, who exited Tuesday’s game with a sprained ankle.

9. Translation: Good luck, fellas. You’re gonna need it.

10. The Hawks, of course, are missing star point guard Trae Young, who’s been out with a finger/hand injury. But they have played OK without him and are battling for a spot in the play-in tournament. They will be plenty motivated and capable.

11. But here’s the bottom line — the Cavs (40-21) enter Wednesday in third place in the East, 4.5 games ahead of Orlando and New York. They just have to try to stay around .500 until Mitchell gets back.

12. They also need to play better. They’ve been just OK lately, inconsistent from game to game and even minute to minute. They understand that. They see the same things the rest of us do.

13. As for Mitchell’s potential return, here’s what coach J.B. Bickerstaff told reporters on Tuesday: “I expect him to be back before a month. I don’t like to overstep my bounds, but at the end of the three games, they’ll reevaluate and then we’ll make a decision from there. I’m hopeful and do not expect this to be a long break, but we will always do what’s best by our guys to make sure they’re healthy.”

14. Bickerstaff added: “It’s more of a wear and tear thing. It was like a tendinitis-type thing that kind of just flared up. So it’s not something that just happened, but something that just built over time. … He couldn’t move going certain directions because of the pain and how it was limited. I’m not a doctor, but from everything that I’m hearing, the time, the rest, and the process should get him back to full strength.”

15. For the record, I have also been a little out of commission lately. Along with a major move (just down the street, but still), we have been undergoing some changes here at Hoops Wire, all positive. Every once in a while, I have to handle the business end of things. That’s where I am today. Oh, I’ve also had a sinus infection. But next week, I plan to be fully back to covering the Cavs as much as humanly possible.

16. Mostly, thanks for making Hoops Wire a success. We couldn’t do all this without you.

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