CLEVELAND: Dion Waiters hasn’t started running yet and expects to miss at least a couple more games after hyperextending his left knee when he landed awkwardly after a dunk last week at Philadelphia.
Sunday’s game against the Washington Wizards was the third Waiters has missed. He also seems unlikely to play in back-to-back games Tuesday and Wednesday against the Toronto Raptors and Oklahoma City Thunder.
Waiters said he first landed on his right foot, which helped take some of the weight off his left leg.
His knee bent backward awkwardly and his left foot slipped a little, Waiters said, otherwise the damage may have been more severe.
“I was just scared more than anything because you never know,” Waiters said. “I didn’t hear any pop, but I knew I stretched it pretty good. My right leg saved it, if I had just come down on my left, it’d have been over.”
The Cavs are adjusting to life without three key members of the rotation in Waiters, C.J. Miles and Anderson Varejao, but it hasn’t been easy.
Miles injured his left ankle on Feb. 19 and is still dealing with some swelling. The Wizards’ game was the sixth Varejao has missed.
With two injured guards, Mike Brown played both Kyrie Irving and Jarrett Jack more than 40 minutes in Friday’s loss at Toronto. He briefly considered Sergey Karasev, but instead stuck with his regulars. He doesn’t like playing anyone 40 minutes, but didn’t rule out it happening again as long as both Waiters and Miles are injured.
“These guys are young enough and no one has really played 40 consistently the whole year. So does it hurt them? No,” Brown said.
“To have [Jarrett] Jack on the floor, Kyrie [Irving] on the floor, Luol [Deng] on the floor a little longer, to me that’s OK, especially during this stretch.”
Onuaku joins Cavs
Arinze Onuaku, signed to a 10-day contract on Saturday, was recalled for Sunday’s game against the Wizards. Onuaku had been playing with the Canton Charge and filled the open roster spot created by the Spencer Hawes trade.
Onuaku, 26, is an NBA rookie despite being four months older than Miles. He has played overseas and in the Development League after going undrafted in the 2010 draft out of Syracuse.
He’s best known for breaking a backboard during Syracuse’s Midnight Madness event in 2007. Onuaku is familiar with the Cavs’ personnel because the Charge players watch most of the Cavs’ games.
“We’re watching their games, so to make the ride down the road and be with these guys, a lot I’ve known before,” he said. “It’s good to be here.”
Jason Collins became the first openly gay player in the NBA on Sunday when he was signed to a 10-day contract by the Brooklyn Nets. Collins spoke about being gay last summer, then had to wait more than half the season for a team to sign the 12-year veteran.
Collins played last season for the Wizards and coach Randy Wittman, who wasn’t surprised Collins was picked up prior to the March 1 deadline of players needing to be on a roster to be eligible for the postseason.
“That’s all you hear is teams trying to get another big heading into the playoffs. I’m not surprised, I’m happy for him,” Wittman said. “You know he’s kept in shape and should be a plus for them.”
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver praised the signing.
“Jason told us that his goal was to earn another contract with an NBA team. Today, I want to commend him on achieving his goal,” Silver wrote in a statement issued by the league. “I know everyone in the NBA family is excited for him and proud that our league fosters an inclusive and respectful environment.”
Jason Lloyd can be reached at email@example.com. Read the Cavs blog at http://www.ohio.com/cavs. Follow him on Twitter http://www.twitter.com/JasonLloydABJ. Follow ABJ sports on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.