Let’s try this again!
The first sip
COVID-19 is the least fun topic to talk about for a lot of reasons we will not dive into here. But also should discuss it here briefly considering the Cavs (and the rest of the NBA) still have to deal with its effects.
Right now, Cleveland has Kevin Love and Lauri Markkanen in the league’s health & safety protocols. It’s unclear when either player will be cleared and able to play again, but it probably won’t be until at least next week. They are also both vaccinated, so this shouldn’t be as harmful to them compared to what it would have been like had this happened last season.
The reality right now, simply, is that COVID is still factors into how teams have to make decisions right now. There are obviously higher profile examples (see Irving, Kyrie and the Brooklyn Nets), but it can affect any team. For Cleveland, it knocks them down two rotation pieces early in the year as the team is/was finding out what works and what doesn’t. There’s also just in-house decisions we don’t know much about right now — are guys going out to dinner on the road again?; are they being asked to wear masks if they do out?; etc. — that matter to the team right now. It also matters with the Nets and Irving, with the Bucks and Khris Middleton and with the 76ers and Tobias Harris. These will likely not be the last instances of COVID headlines in the NBA this year either.
Again: amateur epidemiology isn’t fun to do compared to actual basketball stuff. But it’s still part our reality, and the Cavs,’ so it’s unavoidable for the foreseeable future.