Cavs shooting guard J.R. Smith could be out until March after having surgery on his broken right thumb, the team announced.
Smith has a projected timetable of 12–14 weeks for the complex fracture to heal, meaning he may not be back until close to playoff time. The 31-year-old was averaging 8.6 points per game and shooting 36% from three-point range for the Cavs, providing spacing and known for his ability to score in spurts.
Journeyman DeAndre Liggins has been shouldering minutes in place of Smith, with Iman Shumpert and Mike Dunleavy potentially in line for increased playing time in the interim.
The short-term impact is that Smith will miss Cleveland’s anticipated Finals rematch with the Golden State Warriors on Christmas. Kevin Love is also dealing with a knee injury, though it is unclear whether he will be available on Sunday.