Cavaliers point guard Darius Garland will miss Friday’s home opener against Oklahoma City with a left hamstring strain, per Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. Head coach JB Bickerstaff previously called Garland “very questionable,” tweets Thunder sideline reporter Nick Gallo.
According to Fedor, Garland didn’t participate in the team’s shootaround on Friday morning, and the Cavs decided to take a cautious approach with the 2021/22 All-Star.
Garland will be Cleveland’s second starter sitting out, as Jarrett Allen continues to deal with a left ankle bone bruise. The 25-year-old center is expected to miss Saturday’s back-to-back against Indiana as well, Fedor writes.
The Cavs are hopeful that Allen will make his 2023/24 season debut on Tuesday against the Knicks, sources tell Fedor. Isaac Okoro and Dean Wade, who missed Cleveland’s first game with an illness, will start in place of Garland and Allen.
Here are a few more injury notes:
Nets big man Nic Claxton has a left ankle sprain and is out for Friday’s game at Dallas, tweets Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Brooklyn’s starting center will be a free agent next summer — he’s on an expiring $9.6MM contract. According to Lewis (Twitter link), head coach Jacque Vaughn said Claxton is day-to-day.
Nets forward Cameron Johnson will also be in street clothes on Friday, having been downgraded from questionable to out with a left calf contusion (Twitter links via Lewis). Vaughn said the team is just being cautious with Johnson, who re-signed with Brooklyn on a four-year, $90MM+ contract this summer. It’s worth noting that Johnson missed all of training camp and preseason with a mild left hamstring strain, though he did start and play 26 minutes in Wednesday’s opener vs. Cleveland.
The Heat will be shorthanded again on Friday at Boston, with Caleb Martin (knee) the latest wing player sidelined (Twitter link via the team). Josh Richardson (foot) and Haywood Highsmith (knee) didn’t travel with Miami on its three-game road trip, as we previously relayed. On Tuesday, Martin said his knee still wasn’t 100%, calling the injury “a work in progress.” He played 20 minutes in Wednesday’s opener vs. Detroit.