After winning game three, the Cleveland Cavaliers find themselves in a dicey position due to a freakish injury to starting point guard Larry Hughes (14.9 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 3.7 APG, .333- 3-point). Hughes was not at the teamâ€™s shoot-around on Tuesday leaving doubts as to whether or not heâ€™d be available for tonightâ€™s tip-off at 8 pm ET.
In game three, which the Cavs won 88- 82, Hughes suffered a â€œpartial tear in the plantar fascia,â€? according to ESPN.com. He played 22 minutes total and scored 6 points. The guy to go to will probably be Daniel Gibson, who earned 9 points and posted no assists in 29 minutes in game three. Gibson, a rookie, has seen limited play all season but had a major impact in the third game.
Another option could be Anderson Varejao (6.8 PPG, 6.7 RPG, 0.9), be heâ€™s more of a swing player. Veteran guard Eric Snow (4.2 PPG, 4 APG, 0.7SPG) may be available, but probably canâ€™t sustain a full gameâ€™s work of play. He did run the Cavsâ€™ offense for the first half of the season. Damon Jones (6.6 PPG, 1.6 APG, 0.3 SPG), another vet, is an a possibility. Heâ€™s a three-point guy.
But, honestly, none of these guys can do the job that Hughes can. Look for Gibson and Snow to platoon and for James to take as much control as possible.
For the extremely tough Detroit defense, this is a ripe opportunity to use their depth, exploit the loss of Hughes and focus on James.
It should be a big battle tonight.