How much worse are things going to get? The Cavs, 36-26, are already without center/forward Kevin Love, who is expected to miss another three to four weeks with a broken bone attached to the little finger of his left hand. So, it will likely be Nance Jr. who gets the call and Cleveland will either go super small, or they'll have to give some minutes to Ante Zizic, the lone holdover from the original Kyrie Irving trade.
Thompson stepped on the heel of a Nuggets player in the first half on Saturday.
The Pistons just haven't been able to buy a win these days and they've been especially bad when playing away from home as they've lost 13 of their last 14 road games. Further evaluation on Sunday at Cleveland Clinic Courts confirmed a right ankle sprain and Thompson will now undergo a period of treatment and rehabilitation for the injury. The Cavs said he will miss "multiple games".
The Cavs' first game without Thompson will be March 5 with the Detroit Pistons in Quicken Loans Arena. They are 13-18 since a downhill slide began on December 19 in Milwaukee.
Thompson, one of four players remaining from the team's 2016 National Basketball Association title squad, is averaging 6.5 rebounds and 6.3 points in 42 games - 21 starts.
In 56 games, Smith is averaging 8.3 points and shooting 39 percent.
A source with knowledge of the team staff's thinking told ESPN they did not consider accelerating 31-year-old Green's recovery timeline in light of his improvement and Thompson's injury against Denver because they are focusing on the bigger picture when it comes to Green's health and not potential gains for one regular-season game.