Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith experienced a right thumb injury near the end of the first half of last night’s game in Milwaukee vs. the Bucks. He was examined at halftime and images taken at the arena were inconclusive. He did not return to play. Smith received further imaging and examination in Cleveland this morning by Dr. Richard Parker at Cleveland Clinic Sports Health. The results of the imaging revealed a fractured right thumb. Surgery is now required and a treatment and return to play timeline will be established following the surgery.
It looked like on replay that Smith injured his thumb after swiping his hand in a downward motion on Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo after Antetokounmpo was able to get past him.
The Cavaliers have been playing the 2016-2017 without a veteran point guard on the team to backup Kyrie Irving, and now their guard depth that features Iman Shumpert, DeAndre Liggins, and Kay Felder will be tested even more with Smith set to miss time.
Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue told Cavaliers general manager David Griffin to take his time when it comes to improving the roster with Smith out:
“I told Griff to take his time,” Lue said. “We are 20-6 and we’re playing good. We’re a good team. And we don’t want to settle for just any point guard, we want to make sure that we have the right piece that we bring in here that could help us win a championship. That’s our goal.
Smith, who agreed to re-sign with the Cavaliers on a four-year, $57 million contract this off-season, is averaging 8.6 points, 2.1 rebounds, and 1.2 assists per game, while shooting 33% from the field, 36% from three, and 77% from the free throw line.
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