The Cleveland Cavaliers have now lost two games in a row…to the Miami Heat. Eat your heart out, LeBron! After Saturday’s beatdown in Miami, in which things got a little heated between J.R. Smith and former Cav Dion Waiters, the two teams met in Cleveland for an encore. Serving as a double dosage of bad news for the Cavaliers, the Heat won again (by a final score of 106-98), and the Cavs suffered a key injury.
Injuries have come to define the Cavaliers during LeBron’s second stint with the team. Though King James himself has managed to stay healthy, those around him have not. Two seasons ago, even though they put up a valiant effort in the NBA Finals, the Cavs were probably the most beat-up team in playoff history during that series, not having the likes of Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love or Iman Shumpert.
Since then, both Irving and Love have continued to struggle with injuries off and on, as has Smith. Now, with Love sidelined due to injury for the remainder of the regular season, the Cavs were hoping to assuage his absence via the signing of recently traded/waived center Andrew Bogut. Tonight, with perhaps the most eerily unlucky injury suffered by a Cav in recent years, Bogut broke his tibia mere minutes into his Cleveland debut.
Likely sidelined for at least the rest of the regular season, Bogut won’t have an opportunity to accomplish what he was signed to do: fill the void created by Love being sidelined. Speaking on the hard-to-swallow injury, James told reporters, “It’s very deflating. A tough moment.”
A tough moment indeed. Adding insult to injury, Waiters, who never earned the trust or respect of LeBron before being dealt by Cleveland a few years back, iced Miami’s win with a clutch three-pointer late in the game.
So it’s basically been an awful last few days for LeBron. One, he lost back-to-back games to the team he somewhat controversially exited to return to Cleveland. Two, Waiters, a player who he pretty much had shipped out of Cleveland, ate the Cavs’ lunch in both games. Three, one of Cleveland’s new additions, whom LeBron lobbied to add, is already out for the foreseeable future due to an injury.
Adversity determines character in the world of sport, and the Cavs will certainly have to deal with their fair share of it as they enter the home stretch of the regular season on their quest to repeat as NBA champions. Perhaps luck will be on their side once the Ides of March come to pass.