Dribbles: Cavs Still Injury-Riddled, Looking For Answers

Random dribbles ahead of the Cavaliers’ home game vs. the Phoenix Suns on Monday. …Darius Garland, Cleveland Cavaliers, NBA

1. Well, the Cavs will get to try it again. That’s right, Donovan Mitchell (knee), Max Strus (ditto), Evan Mobley (ankle) and Dean Wade (personal reasons) will remain out for the second straight night.

2. Meanwhile, All-Star shooting guard Devin Booker (ankle) is probable for the Suns.

3. At some point, you figure the Suns of Booker, Kevin Durant and Bradley Beal will pull it entirely together. It will help if those Big Three stay healthy and on the court together at the same time.

4. Right now, the Cavs can only dream of such things. Mitchell is the NBA’s fifth-leading scorer (28.0 ppg). Mobley is the starting power forward, Strus the starting wing. Oh, and Wade generally starts when one of those guys is missing.

5. Worse, the Cavs (41-23) looked awful without them in Sunday’s home loss to the Brooklyn Nets.

6. But Cleveland still has Darius Garland and Jarrett Allen, as well as Isaac Okoro and Caris LeVert. You’d think the Cavs would be plenty capable of stealing a win.

7. You’d think, anyway. But take three starters off any team and it’s likely to be problematic, especially when one of those starters is a player like Mitchell.

8. Mitchell did return to some light working out on Sunday and could play at some point during the Cavs’ upcoming three-game trip — at New Orleans, at Houston and at Indiana. For now, the Cavs have managed to stay in the race for first in the Central Division and second in the Eastern Conference (behind Milwaukee) despite losing four of seven.

9. When you’re this short-handed, there isn’t much you can do but pray and light holy candles that someone, anyone steps forward with an unforeseen otherworldly performance. Strus has done it. So has Wade. So has Sam Merrill. Who will it be next?

10. Cavs coach J.B. Bickerstaff on Sunday’s loss: “Our guys competed and I’m proud of them, but at some point in time, you just run out of gas.”

11. That is accurate and fair. Now, the Cavs just need to find someone to fill up their tank or they may be in for a long week.

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