June 25, 2024

Cavs could be without key defender against up next

Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Toronto Raptors: Odds, preview, injury report,  lineups, TV - cleveland.com

Dean Wade’s availability looms large against the Bulls.

With only days to go until the annual NBA All-Star break, the Cleveland Cavaliers still have to handle business against the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday. While the Bulls and Cavs are on different sides of Eastern Conference standings, this will be their third meeting this year, with Cleveland winning the first two tilts and riding a six-game winning streak against Chicago.

Don’t expect the streak to end given the teams’ respective injury reports. The Bulls will be without Lonzo Ball (knee), Henri Drell (G League assignment), Zach LaVine (foot), Adama Sanogo (G League assignment) and Patrick Williams (foot). Meanwhile, Dalen Terry (patella tendon) and Torrey Craig (toe) are considered probable while Alex Caruso (toe) is considered a game-time decision for Chicago.

Regardless of who is or isn’t available for the Bulls, the Cavs must be locked in and ready to roll after their recent 123-121 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers. Thankfully, unlike Chicago, Cleveland will have strength in numbers with their entire regular rotation available against the Bulls. The only players out for the Cavs are Emoni Bates (G League Assignment), Ty Jerome (ankle), Isaiah Mobley (G League assignment), Craig Porter Jr. (G League assignment) and Tristan Thompson (suspension).

Jerome’s availability is still in the air after surgery on a nagging ankle injury in late January. Thompson, meanwhile, is entering his 12th game of a 25-game suspension. Finally, Bates, Mobley and Porter Jr. being on assignment with the Cleveland Charge, the NBA G League affiliate of the Cavs, isn’t surprising either. All three need valuable on-court reps to continue their development, even with Porter Jr. signing a regular NBA contract with the main club.

Dean Wade’s availability could swing Cavs’ matchup with Bulls

Cavs' JB Bickerstaff and Dean Wade

The biggest question mark for Cleveland against Chicago is Dean Wade, who is considered a game-time decision due to an ongoing illness. Wade was unavailable for the Cavs in their recent loss to the Sixers, and Cleveland felt it in the worst way possible.

While he may not take as many three-point attempts as fellow power forward Georges Niang, Wade is an important defensive piece off the bench for the Cavs. With Wade unavailable, Niang tried to step up on his behalf against Philadelphia, finishing the game with zero points and five rebounds.

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