LeBron could sit out opener

Hawaii Tribune Herald - - SPORTS -

CLEVE­LAND (AP) — LeBron James won’t play again this pre­sea­son, and there’s a chance he’ll miss Cleve­land’s hyped opener with Bos­ton.

James didn’t prac­tice Wed­nes­day, a day af­ter he made his ex­hi­bi­tion de­but af­ter be­ing slowed by a sprained left an­kle sus­tained Sept. 27. Cavs coach Ty­ronn Lue said the four-time MVP is sore and has been ruled out of Cleve­land’s fi­nal pre­sea­son game Fri­day night in Or­lando.

As for James’ sta­tus for Tues­day night’s game against the Celtics and for­mer Cavs All-Star guard Kyrie Irv­ing, Lue was non-com­mit­tal.

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

Lue said James is up­set that his an­kle is still an is­sue.

“Pretty mad, pretty pissed off,” Lue said “But I mean, it is what it is.”

James did not speak to re­porters fol­low­ing Wed­nes­day’s prac­tice.

He ag­gra­vated his an­kle Tues­day night against Chicago as the Cavs un­veiled a new start­ing lineup fea­tur­ing James, Der­rick Rose, Dwyane Wade, Jae Crow­der and Kevin Love. James scored 17 points and had eight turnovers, but the defending East­ern Con­fer­ence cham­pi­ons fell to 0-4 and it’s ap­par­ent their new lineup is go­ing to need a lot more time to­gether. There were few sparkling mo­ments as the group was mostly out of sync.

Lue said J.R. Smith will re­join the start­ing lineup while James is out and guard Jose Calderon will en­ter the ro­ta­tion.

For now, James’ in­jury will pre­vent the Cavs from work­ing out their of­fen­sive kinks. Lue said he’s had to al­ter some plans al­ready.

“It’s a chal­lenge when you’ve got a new team and you want to in­cor­po­rate stuff, but you don’t want to go too fast, you don’t want to go too slow,” he said. “You want to see what works. So we kind of scrapped some of the stuff we’ve been do­ing and we’re go­ing to just go in a dif­fer­ent di­rec­tion of­fen­sively with that first unit.”

James wanted to play even though he wasn’t at full speed. Fol­low­ing the game, he hinted that he might need more time off.

“I def­i­nitely wanted to test it tonight know­ing that at least if I tested it tonight, I have a week un­til the reg­u­lar sea­son started if I don’t play in the game on Fri­day,” he said.

The 32-year-old James has never missed an opener in 14 sea­sons, and this one has some spe­cial siz­zle.

Irv­ing de­manded to be traded dur­ing the sum­mer and he and James have taken some shots at each other in the past two months.

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