One of the goals for David Blatt and the Cavaliers this season is to get their key guys some rest and make sure that the core — specifically LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love — is rested and ready for the postseason. The Cavs will sacrifice regular season games to make this a reality. Their season starts in late April.
But that doesn’t make a good narrative. It’s not how LeBron wants to tell his story. So we get this today, from Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal.
We all see LeBron lying on the floor because of his back when he’s not in the game, right?
He may plan on it, but my guess is the number ends up being in the lows 70s. He has already said he would take time off if his body needed it — and after a while he will feel that way. I wouldn’t even be shocked to see a couple of weeks off for another anti-inflammatory back injection before the playoffs.
It wouldn’t sound good for the league if coaches and players were honest about the plans for rest during the season. If Gregg Popovich said “I only expect to play Tim Duncan 65 games at most this season” or if Byron Scott said that about Kobe Bryant, it would be a big screw you to the fans who spend good money on tickets to see those players. It’s not a narrative the NBA wants out there.
But it’s the reality. I’d be shocked if LeBron plays a full 82, regardless of his plans. Or even if his minutes stay at 33 or more a game.