The plan in Cleveland this season—according to head coach David Blatt, at least—was to bring LeBron James’ minutes down from a career-low 36.1 in 2014-15.
But given the Cavaliers’ injuries, James is actually logging 37.1 minutes a night through 21 games so far.
The Cavs are preparing to welcome back All-Star guard Kyrie Irving and swingman Iiman Shumpert to the lineup.
Per the NEOMG:
For a quick reminder of why his minutes load matters, last week James went over 44,000 NBA minutes for his 13-year career. The Cavs are trying to manage his mileage. […] When James was averaging about 40 minutes per game early last season, he called for those minutes to come down. Now, he’s shrugging off his early season uptick.
“I’m not a 31, 32 minute guy. That’s just not, that ain’t me,” James said after practice on Thursday. The Cavs start a two-game road trip to Orlando and Boston Friday night against the Magic.
But James isn’t really looking to sit. He’s leading the NBA in fourth-quarter scoring (8.9 points per game), and he’s fifth in the league with an overall average of 26.5 points per night. He’s also averaging nearly two more rebounds per game (7.9 to 6.0) than he did last season. […] “I’m playing at a high level,” James said. I’m shooting the ball extremely well and I’m not hurting my team when I’m on the floor. If I’m hurting my team, then I should be sitting down. But I feel good. I’m always kind of like in the middle,” he continued. I’m not a guy who likes to sit. If we take care of business and we go out and we’re able to beat up on a team and I can sit in the fourth, then I can. If not, then I need to play. If I’m in the lineup then I need to be out on the floor. And I’m not saying I have to be out there 48 minutes or 40 minutes. But I’m going to make an impact.”