Larry HughesCavaliers’ Guard Out A Month With Bruise

And no, I’m not talking about his bruised ego, his bruised confidence, or any other psyches that Larry Hughes may have injured in his short time with Cleveland. But Brian Windhorst reported today that Larry Hughes is expected to miss about a month with a bruised left leg.

You can collectively hear the Cavaliers fanbase rejoicing. Look, I wanted to like Larry Hughes. I really, really did. And we all know that it’s been a tough couple years for him personally, especially dealing with the tragic loss of his brother, Justin, in May 2006. So I don’t want to unjustly pile it on the guy.

But that being said, he has been simply awful for the Cavaliers. It feels like highway robbery as we have had to sit by and watch the deteriorating skills of Larry get worse and worse. In his last year with Washington, Larry’s PER was a respectable 21.63 (compared to LeBron’s 25.74 that season). Since joining Cleveland, that number has crumbled every year, dropping to 14.08, then 12.17, to this year absolutely collapsing to an unfathomably poor 4.39. He is shooting 29.3% this season. He is averaging just 2.3 assists per game while averaging 1.7 turnovers per game. Once considered a stellar defender, his defense has disappeared altogether this season.

Frankly speaking, you couldn’t play the game of basketball much worse than Larry Hughes has been this year. Getting back to his PER, Larry ranks 324th in the entire NBA. THREE HUNDRED AND TWENTY FOURTH!?!? So far this season, there have been 323 players who are playing better basketball than Hughes. This is inexplicable. You can’t blame this on injury alone or any other psychological factor (displeasure with offensive system, etc). Even an unhappy player should play at an average level.

So Larry will be out a month, which means more playing time for Sasha Pavlovic. I think that’s a good thing, but I’m hoping to see Sasha work on going to the basket more often. LeBron is great at finding Sasha down low, and Pavs has actually shown in the past a pretty nice knack for finding holes in the passing lanes under the  basket. Too often this season Pavs has settled for the outside jumper. Hopefully with more playing time and getting in better shape, Sasha will get some agressiveness back and can become a factor for this team in some way, particularly with Larry’s figurative and literal disappearance from the team.