The Cleveland Cavaliers enjoyed 58 seconds of the Andrew Bogut experience. After signing the center to solidify the team’s interior defense, Cleveland watched as Bogut suffered a broken leg in a loss to the Miami Heat.
Bogut needed to be helped off the floor after fracturing his left tibia. According to LeBron James, he heard the bone breaking during the collision. Both players knew at that moment that it was a fracture.
“It's very deflating ... a tough moment," James said following the game. "We all were excited about the acquisition and bringing him in here.”
The Cavs have been very active recently, adding Deron Williams, Derrick Williams, and Bogut to buoy the team for the stretch run. If nothing else, the Cavs will not need to replace an integral part of their scheme, as Bogut’s Cavs tenure will likely last only 58 seconds.
Bogut was projected to have a critical role coming off the bench, where he would spell center Tristan Thompson. Additionally, Bogut is an adept passer and could have thrived with the Cavs’ wealth of outside shooting.
Bogut’s injury does not alter Cleveland’s expectations, according to Kyrie Irving. “David Griffin has done an unbelievable job, and the pieces that we do have, I mean, this is probably the best group that I've played on since I've been here," Irving said. “So I'm definitely still confident about it, and I always will be."
The Cavs are currently 42-20 on the season. Despite losing Bogut, Cleveland is slated to get even more reinforcements. Kevin Love and J.R. Smith will both return to the lineup, giving the team even more offensive firepower. Smith should help on the defensive end, as well.
With 20 games left to play, the Cavs hold a three-game edge over the second-seeded Boston Celtics. Bogut was poised to meet his former team in the Finals. The No. 1 seeds in both conferences–the Cavs and Golden State Warriors–are expected to meet for the third straight season to decide a champion. Bogut spent the prior four seasons in Golden State before joining the Dallas Mavericks for the first half of this season.