Cava­liers us­ing fourth start­ing lineup of 2017-18 sea­son

Sun.Star Pampanga - - IN CAMPUS! -

NEW YORK -- Five games into the young NBA sea­son, Cleve­land Cava­liers coach Ty­ronn Lue is com­mit­ting to his fourth dif­fer­ent start­ing l i neup.

The Cavs will start Der­rick Rose, JR Smith, LeBron James, Kevin Love and Tris­tan Thomp­son on Satur­day when they play the New Or­leans Pel­i­cans, Lue said.

Cleve­land opened the sea­son with Rose, Dwyane Wade, James, Jae Crow­der and Love as its starters. It switched to Jose Calderon, Wade, James, Crow­der and Love; then to Smith, James, Crow­der, Love and Thomp­son. And now this.

The lat­est lineup swap sends Crow­der, the only player Cleve­land re­ceived from the Kyrie Irv­ing trade cur­rently in Lue's ro­ta­tion, to the bench.

"Just another class act by Jae. He was great," Lue said of the lat­est po­ten­tially dif­fi­cult con­ver­sa­tion he had to have with one of his play­ers - mir­ror­ing the chats he al­ready had with Smith, Thomp­son, Wade and Chan­ning Frye -- about his role chang­ing. "[He] said 'Nah, do what­ever you want. You don't have to ex­plain any­thing to me. I just want to win. That's the most im­por­tant thing.'"

"I've been open to change be­cause we haven't found our groove yet," Crow­der said. "We're still search­ing for an­swers to see how we can get games rolling in our fa­vor. So I'm open to what­ever the team wants me to do, be­cause at the end of the day we're try­ing to reach a goal."

It also means aban­don­ing Cleve­land's ex­per­i­ment with Love as the team's start­ing cen­ter -- the most rad­i­cal ad­just­ment Lue planned for the team dur­ing the off­sea­son. "Kevin's still go­ing to play some 5 when Jae comes in early for Tris­tan," Lue said. "We just can't have him play­ing 35 min­utes at the 5. It's wear­ing him down. You can kind of see that. It's af­fect­ing his shot. We tried it. We said we've got a lot of ver­sa­tile line­ups we can try and change, but just get­ting back to who we were, how we've started over the past three years."

James, whose Mi­ami Heat team started 9-8 in 2010-11 in its first sea­son to­gether and whose Cava­liers went 19-20 at the be­gin­ning of 2014-15, sees a par­al­lel with this Cavs team that is try­ing to in­cor­po­rate eight new play­ers.

"It's just a learn­ing curve that you have to go through when you're adding a new group, and I don't want it easy, any­ways," James said. "I don't like for it to be easy. I like the chal­lenge."

The Cavs will be start­ing games for the fore­see­able fu­ture with four of the five play­ers who started against the Golden State War­riors in the NBA Fi­nals and Rose swapped in Irv­ing's place.

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