Iman Shumpert will start in place of LeBron James (ankle) in the Cavs preseason finale vs. Orlando on Friday. While confirming that veteran sharpshooter J.R Smith will return to the starting line up to take James' place, Lue said the Cavs will be extra careful in handling injuries.
"Was pretty much bracing myself for it", said Smith, who compared what happened with Wade to a situation he experienced with the New York Knicks.
James twisted his ankle during Tuesday's 108-94 loss to the Chicago Bulls at the Quicken Loans Arena following an off-balance spin move to the basket with little over five minutes left in the first quarter. Though Cavs coach Tyronn Lue has yet to provide an official update on James' injury, several media outlets believe the team might rest its franchise star.
Asked if there was reason to be concerned about James' availability for next Wednesday's clash with the Celtics, led by former Cavs point guard Kyrie Irving, Lue replied: "Not sure". So, obviously tonight and tomorrow morning it's going to be a telltale sign of how I came out tonight.
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"I'm pushing through it right now", he said after the game regarding his ankle.
The 32-year-old reiterated that he wasn't fully himself when asked about the condition of the injury.
"Pretty mad, pretty pissed off", Lue said "But I mean, it is what it is".
The four-time MVP has appeared in fewer than 70 games once (2014-15) over the course of his career-he played in 62 of 66 games during the lockout-shortened 2011-12 season-and has missed a grand total of 14 games combined over the past two campaigns largely for maintenance. However, apparently, he and his team will just have to deal with it for now until he is finally okay.
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James initially sustained the injury during a Cavs practice on September 27.
"We're going to work on it", he added. They felt more comfortable with it today. So guys feel more comfortable. "It's something new to us". James is undergoing treatment on his ankle, and that will likely remain the case in the days leading up to the opener.
CLEVELAND (AP) - LeBron James won't play again this preseason, and there's a chance he'll miss Cleveland's hyped opener with Boston. He is pictured on October 10, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio.
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