LeBron James logged a career-low 35.6 minutes per night last season, and once the Playoffs roll around, Cavs head coach Tyronn Lue wants to ensure that his superstar is fresh enough to carry Cleveland back to the promised land.
It won’t be easy cutting back on LBJ’s playing time—he’s very “stubborn” about staying on the floor.
New story: "Stubborn" LeBron is on board with Ty Lue's plan to rest him https://t.co/bn4CJm9Lxr
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) September 28, 2016
Lue will also be keeping a close eye on Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love’s burn.
“I’ve looked at the schedule,” Lue said Wednesday. “Just seeing what makes sense and what’s smart when playing four-in-five type of nights. Can’t run our guys into the ground. We have to be smart, understand we have to take care of our bodies and take care of our key guys. Make sure that when we get to the playoffs we’re ready to go.”
“I try to make myself available for my teammates every night, and I think I’ve had some pretty good coaches over the last few years, with Erik Spoelstra my last couple years there [in Miami] and now Coach Lue has done a great job of just trying to help me take care of my body,” James said, “because I’m very stubborn when it comes to wanting to play.”
“[My coaches] also know I’ve put a lot of miles on my body over the last six years from going to the Finals every single year, so, health and longevity for our team is very important,” James continued. He said it’s key for the entire staff to keep a close eye on it. […] “My thing is just making sure guys are healthy, continue to limit LeBron’s minutes, and he was at an all-time low last year,” Lue said. “Watch Kyrie [Irving’s] minutes because we know we’re playing for something big. We know when we get to the playoffs it’s going to require a lot of minutes, so with those guys and with Kevin [Love], just have to watch guys getting to the red zone. I talked about the red zone last year, and our training staff does a great job of making sure they let me know who is getting close to that. For me, in the playoffs, health is more important than anything. As long as we can get to the playoffs healthy, I will be very excited about that.”