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Injuries, Losses and the Dreaded Excused Absence

The Cavaliers came into Training Camp feeling great about who and where they were as a team.  No contract squabbles, no injuries, just huge expectations.  Three games into the pre-season things have drastically changed.  That Cavs have lost all three games, which in and of itself is not a concern, as LeBron tells us - 

The preseason is not about winning," James said. "You want to get some wins to feel good about yourself, but it's about learning."

Personally, I agree, and the Cavaliers have shown progress in all three games, especially on the defensive end.

My worries come off the court where issues seem to be mounting.  Injuries and excused absences have hampered the team's ability to get everyone on the same page.  Ben Wallace and Sasha Pavlovic have played a total of 3 minutes the past two games due to injury.  For Pavlovic it is a sprained ankle, something he dealt with alot last season.  While the injury is not considered serious, the fact the a player like Pavlovic, who needs to find a rhythem in his game to be effective, continues to miss games has to be a concern to the Cavaliers.

The bigger injury concern is Ben Wallace and his achy back.  Wallace proved last season that he could still be very effective when he was healthy.  He was useless when the back acted up.  Now, with the back acting up already, even after an off-season spent trying to strengthen the problem area, there is concern that Wallace may not get back to anything close to what he was in Detroit, not to mention the $15 million the Cavs are paying him this season.  The Cavs need Wallace becuase the front-court is an area of concern with a lot of age on one side(Wallace, Z) and alot of youth on the other(Hickson, Jackson).

Another Cavaliers regular hasn't been on the court, but it has nothing injury.  Delonte West, fresh off signing his new contract, has been absent from the team ofr over a week while he deals with "undisclosed personal problems".  For now, the team is saying all thre right things, and surely taking care of business at home is the most important thing, but at what point do the Cavaliers, or West, talk about what is going on or simply force West to come back?  With the season less than 2 weeks away, that time may be coming soon.

The Cavaliers have been practicing for about 2 weeks.  In that time they have on of their guards out injured, another out because of personal problems and a forward with back problems.  Not the smooth beginning to the season that Mike Brown was hoping for.  Lucily the game don't count and the Cavs have some time, but the clock is ticking.