Injury woes continue for Coach Blatt as Cavs struggle…
Griffin says Cavaliers coach Blatt is safe: General manager backs Blatt.
LeBron ruled out for two weeks: James sidelined with back and knee soreness.
Cavaliers get disabled player exception for Varejao: Cleveland big man ruled out for season.
Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving exited Sunday’s loss to the Dallas Mavericks with back tightness and he has not travelled with the team to Philadelphia.
Irving will remain in Cleveland to rehabilitate his back after he scored a season-low six points on 2-for-9 shooting as he came out of the game in the third quarter and did not return.
His absence will add to coach David Blatt’s troubles as he is already with Anderson Varejao for the season and LeBron James for the next two weeks. Meanwhile, both Kevin Love and Shawn Marion have been struggling with niggles but appear to have fully recovered.
“I’m just in a lot of pain right now,” Irving said. “Just have spasms, tightness. I have to do what I can to get better.”
Irving initially hurt his back during Friday’s win over the Charlotte Hornets and he revealed that he aggravated the issue against Dallas and that it was a frustrating process having only recently returned from a knee injury.
General manager David Griffin defended Blatt on Sunday and insisted that his job was not under threat, but with the Cavs at 19-15 for the season, they are likely to see their struggles continue before things improve and their stars return from injury.
Point guard Matthew Dellavedova has already been starting alongside Irving in the backcourt, and it is expected that Dion Waiters will join him in the first unit to cover the latest loss.
“Long term no, but short term, certainly yes,” Blatt said when asked if he was concerned about Irving’s injury. “Certainly short term it’s a worry.”
Following on from the 76ers game, the Cavs play the Houston Rockets at home on Wednesday before starting a five-game West Coast road trip in Golden State.