The Cleveland Cavaliers are definitely looking to imitate their performance last year and enter the NBA Finals again. However, a new report reveals the team will be doing so without much help from key players LeBron James and Kyrie Irving.
Cleveland.com’s Terry Pluto believes the Cavs are looking to cut down James’ minutes during the regular season. LBJ is entering his 13th season in the NBA and at 30 years old, it will help the team in the long run to limit his playing time and even regular games to help him stay at tip-top shape.
As for Irving, the star point-guard has been battling with injuries last season. After suffering an ankle injury, the All-Star had ended his impressive post-season performance abruptly last season after he suffered a fractured knee injury and had to undergo surgery. He only played in one Finals game last season wherein the Cavaliers lost the championship to Golden State Warriors.
According to Pluto, Irving will be coming off surgery so keeping his “workload light” during the regular season is the sensible decision.
Notably though, these two are among the Top 5 players in average minutes played during last regular season — Kyrie is at third with 36.4 minutes, while LBJ is fifth with 36.1 minutes per game.
With such big minutes played, it will be interesting to see how Cleveland will adjust to this new goal. Notably, Pluto noted the addition of Richard Jefferson, Mo Williams and the re-signing of JR Smith will be a big boost to the team, should they stick to limiting the two All-Stars.
Interestingly, CBS Sports notes that while cutting Irving and James’ minutes seem to be the good decision at this time, when games have been played and challenges are met, the Cavs may have to pull the plug on this goal.
“The question is what happens if and when adversity hits. Will the Cavs be willing to stick to their plan if they go on a losing streak or a couple of players get hurt? Will anyone say no to James if he says he wants to play 36-37 minutes per game?”
As for now, Cavs fans can only hope that David Blatt and his team knows what they’re doing.