The Cavs will need more out of Lauri Markkanen

Lauri Markkanen, Cleveland Cavaliers. Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images
Lauri Markkanen, Cleveland Cavaliers. Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images /

The COVID crisis has been difficult for the entire realm of Cleveland sports. In regards to the Cavaliers, the league had to postpone the game against the Atlanta Hawks last Sunday due to COVID issues. After Isaac Okoro and Evan Mobley were placed in the health and safety protocol, Jarrett Allen, Lamar Stevens, Denzel Valentine, Dylan Windler and R.J. Nembhard were added to the list as well. Thus, seven total players OUT. Ed Davis made it eight later in the week.

Making do with this depleted roster, the Cavs were in Boston to face the Celtics and despite a solid effort ended up losing by a score of 111-101. It snapped a six-game winning streak for the Wine & Gold even with Darius Garland’s 28 points and Kevin Love’s 18 to follow up.

One thing that really stuck out from the Boston game was the performance by Lauri Markkanen. The 6’11” 240-pound power forward went 2-12 from the floor including 0-5 from deep en-route to only seven points on the night.

The Cleveland Cavaliers need everyone to step up with half their team unavailable. Lauri Markkanen must lead the way

Take a look at these numbers by Markkanen in previous games:

@MIL: 3-for-14 for eight points

HOU: 5-for-10 for 10 points

MIA: 5-for-13 for 12 points

SAC: 1-for-8 for three points

Those totals are just simply not going to cut it with the number of players that are out because of the COVID virus. Coach J.B. Bickerstaff and the rest of the Cavaliers are relying on Markkanen to be much more productive from the floor as a scorer.

Of course, the COVID virus has changed the game plan for the Cavaliers with so many players that would usually be scoring a plethora of points out with the illness. Despite this being the case, it makes the roles of players such as Lauri Markkanen just that much greater.

So far, it hasn’t looked good with those totals being proof of that poor play.

A target number of points for Markkanen would be at least 15 or more each game. This contribution would help the Cavs continue to win games even with the challenges the team faces as a whole.

Frankly, this season has been an overall surprise and really exciting for us fans. The club sits at a record of 19-13 and fourth in the Eastern Conference Playoffs behind Milwaukee (20-13), Chicago (19-10) and Brooklyn (21-9).

Next. 1 stud, 1 dud from Cavs’ shorthanded loss to Celtics. dark

Let’s not let this dreaded COVID virus ruin the great opportunity this team has moving forward. Players such as Lauri Markkanen must step up to allow the Cavs to maintain positioning in the playoff hunt while playing sound basketball as those said teammates recover and are ready to go after the tests allow them to in the future.