Dylan Windler is getting the opportunity to prove himself at the most crucial time of the Cavaliers‘ season, writes Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. Windler was viewed as a floor-spacing shooter when Cleveland took him with the 26th pick in the 2019 draft, but injuries have slowed his development as his first two seasons were cut short by surgeries. He sat out five of the team’s first six games this month before coach J.B. Bickerstaff gave him another shot to contribute.
Windler’s chance has come at the expense of Cedi Osman, who was pulled from the rotation recently because of inconsistent play. The Cavs have been forced to use smaller lineups because of injuries to their front line, so Windler is a natural fit.
“Dylan’s always standing ready,” Darius Garland said. “We know he’s going to always be ready whenever his number is called. I mean, he’s a hard worker. Shots are going to start falling. Then on the defensive end, he’s going to do his job and that’s been Dylan since I’ve met him since I was in high school. He’s always going to be ready to compete and play hard. I just always tell him just stay ready. That’s for everybody down the line.”
There’s more from Cleveland:
- Evan Mobley has been ruled out for at least the next three games with a sprained left ankle, but the Cavaliers are relieved that his injury wasn’t as bad as it looked, Fedor adds in a separate story. A source tells Fedor that an MRI on Mobley was “pretty clean” and “didn’t show much.” The rookie big man will work with the team’s medical staff over the next few days, but Bickerstaff said he’s not in a walking boot and there’s optimism that the injury is just short term. “The sooner we get him back on the floor the better. And for his sake too,” Bickerstaff said in a session with reporters before tonight’s game. “You don’t ever want to see a kid take injuries that are long lasting and impact him. He wants to play. He wants to be part of what we’ve got going on.”
- Moses Brown, who’s nearly at the end of his second 10-day contract with Cleveland, is starting tonight in place of Mobley, Fedor tweets. Brown has played seven games since joining the Cavaliers, but is averaging just 5.4 minutes per night.
- Rajon Rondo tested his injured right ankle after today’s shootaround, but has been ruled out for tonight’s game, according to Fedor (Twitter link). Rondo hasn’t played since March 12.