The Cavaliers are sitting in fifth place at 18-14. They are 1-3 since Christmas losing three in a row and now LeBron James will be out for two weeks.
After multiple examinations it showed that LeBron has knee and back strains. LeBron played in two games since he aggravated his knee on Christmas Day in Miami. He had a great game against the Magic and then the Cavs got blown out at home by the Pistons.
There were no rumblings of a knee strain on LeBron’s birthday. We expected him to play and he missed the game against the Hawks, another lost for the Cavs. He sat out Wednesday’s game as well with a knee strain.
Before Cavalier fans panic, this could be a good thing for both the Cavaliers and LeBron. When LeBron returned to Cleveland there were talks about him resting and playing less minutes. Well this season LeBron is fourth in minutes per game. He’s played 37 minutes per game his last three years in Miami and he’s at that number right now. LeBron was not getting any rest.
This injury also forces the Cavs to change things around. Maybe David Blatt can implement some of his offense with LeBron out. This will allow Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love to work on their chemistry. Love also missed Wednesday’s game with an injury but it does not appear to be anything serious.
With Bron out Love should get more touches. Hey even the Minnesota Kevin Love might show up a few times. Trust me the Cavs will need it during this stretch. They have two winnable games against the Hornets and Sixers. Other than that they have a home matchup against the Mavericks and Rockets. They go on the road to face the Warriors, Kings and Suns. LeBron should be back when the Cavs head to Los Angeles to take on both the Lakers and Clippers.
LeBron has played a lot of basketball these past four years and the guy needs a rest. Kyrie Irving must step up not only as a scorer but a play maker. He has to get Love involved early and get easy baskets for Tristan Thompson. He has to pick his spots with his scoring. He can get hot and then he loses focus on getting his teammates involved and tries to score everything.
If LeBron misses seven games I expect the Cavs to go 4-3. Kyrie and Love can still have big games and lead the Cavs to victory against a tough Western Conference opponent.
The Cavs should look into acquiring a rim protector during this time. Their defense will take a hit without LeBron on the floor. No matter how the Cavs play during this stretch we should not panic. This team will figure it out eventually but right now they are going through some tough times.