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In Street Clothes

Covering sports injuries from the perspective of a certified athletic trainer and backed by analytics.

Cleveland Cavaliers

  • Head Athletic Trainer: Steve Spiro (Four Years as Head AT)
  • Total Games Lost to Injury Since the 2005-06 Season: 1697 (15th in the league)
  • Total Cost for Games Lost to Injury Since the 2005-06 Season: $119.7 million (15th)
  • 2015-2016 Games Missed Due to Injury: 103 (T-10th)
  • 2015-2016 Cost of Games Missed Due to Injury:$9.6 million (15th)
  • Best Finish in Games Missed Rank: 1 (2005-06)
  • Worst Finish in Games Missed Rank: 26 (2007-08 and 2010-11)

Summary

The Cavaliers quest for a title came up short in the 2014-15 season, largely in part to poorly-timed injuries to forward Kevin Love and guard Kyrie Irving. Fortunately the Cleveland Big Three were healthy and on the court for their Finals rematch with the Warriors and Irving, Love, and LeBron James were able to deliver the city its long-awaited championship.

The regular season wasn’t perfect, from a health point of view, as Irving missed the first 24 games recovering from surgery on his fractured patella while Iman Shumpert missed the first 21 games with a torn tendon in his wrist. However, Steve Spiro and the medical team decreased their games lost in the second half of the season and only lost three games to injury throughout their entire playoff run.

If the Cavaliers are to repeat, sustained health will once again be key. This could prove challenging considering Cleveland has played a half season worth of postseason games over the past two years. Coach Tyronn Lue has already stated managing James’ minutes will be a priority and biometric screening by the athletic training staff will help influence those decisions. Unfortunately the team’s impasse with veteran point guard Mo Williams could cost the medical team lost games to start the season as Williams recently underwent surgery on his chronically injured left knee.