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Cleveland Cavaliers coach David Blatt has revealed that he may sit LeBron James at times during the regular season in order to have him fresh for the playoffs.
James sat out the morning practice on Friday in order to rest his back after he revealed earlier this week that he felt it was “iffy” while playing in just two of the three periods during the Cavs’ open scrimmage on Wednesday.
While Blatt was keen to downplay the seriousness of the strain, several other veterans including Mike Miller and Shawn Marion have also been given time off. As a result, the Cavs Coach insists that he will manage the roster this season and rest his players ready for the post-season.
“Certainly could,” Blatt said.
“It’s not specifically planned at this point. In other words, we didn’t sit down and already write up a plan for what game he would miss or what practice he would miss, but it could [happen] depending on need.”
James has played in 842 out of a possible 886 regular season games during his first 11 seasons in the NBA, but as he approaches 30 years of age and 40,000 minutes of action in his career, he may well need a night off here and there in order to be fully healthy for the playoffs.
The two-time NBA champion insisted that losing weight was not part of that conversation after his well documented diet this summer, as he claimed that was more to do with his role in Cleveland and becoming even quicker and efficient.
Blatt conceded that he has watched San Antonio Spurs’ Gregg Popovich over the years and seen how he works in terms of resting players, and he is confident that he will be able to identify when certain players need rest as ultimately it is part of the process of being a Coach.