Tyronn Lue on playing LeBron James 43.8 minutes per game: ‘His body can take it’

LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers
PHOTOGRAPH: Keith Allison/Flickr | LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers

Coach Tyronn Lue sees no problem with LeBron James averaging 43.8 minutes per game in the Cleveland Cavaliers’ first-round matchup against the Indiana Pacers. Lue revealed that the Cavs star informed him that he feels worse when he’s not playing on the court.

“Bron today just said he feels worse when he doesn’t play,” Lue said. “Like right now, he said he feels worse, so, we just got to gauge it and see how he feels. Everyone else’s minutes were great outside of LeBron. He didn’t really have a defensive assignment. He was able to roam off guys during the series and, so, it was good for him. With him playing the minutes he played during [the] course of the regular season, it has helped him in the playoffs. Now he is able to play those 42, 43 minutes. Because he’s used to it. His body can take it, so, I’m not worried about what outside people say.”

LeBron James established an incredible performance in the Cavaliers’ first-round sweep of Paul George and the Pacers. In four games, he averaged 32.8 points, 9.8 rebounds, 9.0 assists, 3.0 steals and 2.0 blocks. Lue believes people shouldn’t make it a big deal with James playing more minutes. The Cavs’ head coach also joked about playing “The King” 48 minutes in the second round.

LeBron James trusts the Cavs’ coaching staff

James expressed the same sentiment as coach Tyronn Lue. He said that it’s part of their game plan for him to play heavier minutes in the postseason. James also claimed that he can play one whole game if needed.

“The game plan is from the coaching staff,” James said. “Coaches always ask me how I’m feeling throughout the game, and I feel great. If I’m out on the floor and I’m hurting us by playing a lot of minutes, then I need to come out. But in this series, I played a lot of minutes, and I felt great. I actually could have played the whole game if need be.”

Lue referenced other losing teams who are listening to people’s comments about their players’ minutes.  He didn’t mention any specific team but the Oklahoma City Thunder served as a good example. When Russell Westbrook rests, the Thunders struggled on the court.

Cavs preparing for the second round

After sweeping the Pacers, the Cavaliers resume their practice as preparation for the second round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. They could face either the Toronto Raptors or the Milwaukee Bucks next. On Thursday, coach Tyronn Lue revealed that he will be hosting a Raptors-Bucks Game 6 watch party at his house.

Photo courtesy: Keith Allison/Flickr

Video courtesy: Youtube/FreeDawkins

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