LeBron out for pre­sea­son, in doubt for opener

The Phnom Penh Post - - SPORT -

FOUR-TIME NBA Most Valu­able Player LeBron James will not play in Cleve­land’s last pre­sea­son game and is ques­tion­able for Tues­day’s sea­son opener against Bos­ton, Cava­liers coach Ty­ronn Lue said on Wed­nes­day.

James awoke with a sore left an­kle af­ter scor­ing 17 points in a 108-94 pre­sea­son loss to Chicago, and Lue de­clared he would not prac­tise yes­ter­day or play to­day in the ex­hi­bi­tion against Or­lando.

The 32-year-old play­maker, who led the Cavs to their first NBA crown in 2016, missed most pre­sea­son work­outs and three pre­sea­son con­tests with a left an­kle sprain suf­fered on Septem­ber 27.

Lue said: “[ James is] pretty mad, pretty p— off. But I mean, it is what it is.”

James has not missed a sea­son-opener in 14 NBA cam­paigns, but Lue hes­i­tated when asked about his avail­abil­ity against Bos­ton next week.

“[ James] got treat­ment all day to­day, so I’m not sure if we should be con­cerned or not,” Lue said. “But it’s pretty sore so we’ll just see what hap­pens.”

JR Smith will start for James to­day, with Jose Calderon mov­ing into the line-up, Lue said.

James said af­ter the pre­sea­son loss to Chicago that the game was a test to see how his an­kle was re­cov­er­ing from the in­jury. “I’m push­ing through it right now,” he said. “I just wanted to try and test my foot, test my an­kle to see how I would come out.

“I def­i­nitely wanted to test it know­ing that at least if I tested it tonight, I have a week un­til the reg­u­lar sea­son started if I don’t play [to­day’s] game.”

James av­er­aged 26.4 points and ca­reer highs of 8.6 re­bounds and 8.7 as­sists last sea­son as the Cava­liers reached the NBA Fi­nals, los­ing to Golden State. It was the sev­enth con­sec­u­tive trip to the fi­nals and eighth over­all for James.

The Cavs had hoped to have James play along­side new­com­ers Der­rick Wade, Dwyane Wade and Jae Crow­der, with Kevin Love shifted from for­ward to cen­tre in what fig­ures to be a for­mi­da­ble line-up should they work co­he­sively.

“It’s a chal­lenge when you’ve got a new team and you want to in­cor­po­rate stuff,” Lue said. “Do we wish we had more time with him in pre­sea­son? Yes. But we have to make do with what we have.”

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Cam­bo­dian-Amer­i­can mixed mar­tial artist Sa­van­nah Em has said she is keen to re­turn to her roots af­ter join­ing Asian pro­mo­tion ONE Cham­pi­onship.

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