Cleveland Cavaliers back-up point guard Matthew Dellavedova has been diagnosed with a sprained MCL and will miss up to six weeks.

Thin Backcourt

The 6-4 Aussie missed the Cavs last two games after injuring his left knee in the fourth quarter of their blowout loss to the Portland Trail Blazers last Tuesday. According to team officials, the earliest possible time Dellavedova could return will be in four weeks.

While Dellavedova won’t play significant minutes at the point with Kyrie Irving playing ahead of him, his absence will mean that guard Dion Waiters will have to handle the ball more often. During the Cavaliers’ game against the Denver Nuggets last Friday, it was LeBron James who shared the play-making chores with Irving. King James dished out a season-high 11 assists to lead the Cavs to a 110-101 win.

The Cleveland Cavaliers have one of the NBA’s most talent laden rosters, but they have a relatively thin backcourt with Irving and Waiters as the only notable personalities. Aside from Dellavedova, their reserve guards are 2014 second round draftee Joe Harris and undrafted Will Cherry of Montana.

Early Season Woes

The Cavaliers are off to a rough start in the 2nd LeBron James era with their 2-3 record. One of their major weaknesses is sharing the ball. The team is 2nd to the last in the league in assists with its 17.8 assists per game total. They only had a total of six assists during their 100-102 loss to the Utah Jazz on November 5th. Irving had zero assists in that game and is averaging just 4.2 assists per game. Waiters on the other hand, has been struggling with just 1.0 assist per game.

With Waiters suffering a bruised lower back after Friday’s game against the Nuggets, Dellavedova’s absence will surely be felt by the Cavs in the next month.

Solid Back Up Player

Dellavedova had a solid rookie season in 2013-14, backing up Irving by averaging 4.7 points and 2.6 assists per game. He also managed to connect on one three point basket per game at .368 accuracy. Aside from the stats, he also brought intangibles to the Cavaliers. Other than Anderson Vaerjao, he was the other energy spark of the team and the one that brought life to their unproductive bench.

Dellavedova is also one of the team’s best on-ball defenders. And with the Cavs struggling as the 21st ranked defensive team in the NBA, his presence will be missed especially when they play teams with star point guards like Boston, Washington, San Antonio and Toronto later this month.

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