The second half of Dion Waiters' season was going swimmingly—for about 15 minutes.
After scoring 13 points—on just seven shots—to go with four rebounds and three assists in the first half against the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday night, the second-year guard came down awkwardly following a monstrous dunk.
He immediately went to the locker room, and according to the Plain Dealer's Mary Schmitt Boyer, he wasn't allowed to return due to a left knee hyperextension:
Dion Waiters has a left knee hyperextension, he will not return. #Cavs— M.S. Boyer/J. Valade (@PDcavsinsider) February 19, 2014
The instant-offense Waiters, who put on a show during the Rising Stars Challenge on Friday night, looked set to start the second half in a similar fashion for the suddenly surging Cleveland Cavaliers, making this especially unfortunate timing.
Entering Tuesday's game, he was averaging 14.3 points, 2.9 rebounds and 2.7 assists on the year. Although he's often inefficient and inconsistent, he provides an important spark off the bench.
While he was quickly ruled out of the game, blogger Conrad Kaczmarek noted that may be due to the opponent rather than the severity of the injury:
No need for Dion Waiters to play in the 2nd half if his knee is sore at all. No offense to Philly.— Conrad Kaczmarek (@ConradKazNBA) February 19, 2014
If he is forced to miss a significant amount of time, Kyrie Irving and Jarrett Jack may take on more minutes, but Matthew Dellavedova and C.J. Miles would also be called upon to help make up Waiters' 28.4 minutes per contest.
Either way, the Cavs, who are winners of four straight and are just three games out of the No. 8 spot in the East, will be hoping it's nothing serious.