The Cleveland Cavaliers will be without two star players for the next several weeks after announcing significant injuries to point guard Darius Garland and forward Evan Mobley on Friday.
Garland suffered a fractured jaw after colliding with Boston Celtics center Kristaps Porzingis on Thursday. Garland finished the game, but a scan on Friday confirmed the injury. The 2021-22 All-Star selection will undergo a procedure to repair his jaw and will be re-evaluated in four weeks.
Mobley has missed Cleveland’s last four games, listed on the injury report with left knee soreness. The Cavs announced Friday that the third-year big man will undergo arthroscopic surgery on the knee and will be re-evaluated in six to eight weeks.
Garland and Mobley have combined to score nearly 37 points per game this season, and their absence will place an even greater offensive burden on the shoulders of Donovan Mitchell, Max Strus and Caris LeVert.
The loss of two core players is a massive blow for a team off to a middling start this season.
After a disappointing first-round play-off exit to end last season, the Cavs opened this campaign 4-6. The team appeared to find its footing over the next few weeks, rising above .500, but Cleveland has dropped its last three games and sits at 13-12.
Garland was the fifth overall pick in the 2019 draft and is averaging 20.7 points – second on the team behind Mitchell – and 5.9 assists this season.
Mobley was the third overall pick in 2021 and immediately made a splash as an All-Rookie selection. He is scoring 16.0 points per game this season and is averaging career highs with 10.5 rebounds, 1.67 blocks and 57.3-percent shooting from the field.
Mobley is the Cavs’ best defender, and he was an All-Defensive Team selection last season.