Cleveland Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue’s health problems have affected the team this season according to star man LeBron James.
The Cavaliers defeated the Chicago Bulls in a 114-109 win at the United Center on Saturday. However, Lue failed to see out the full game as he sat out for the second half with assistant coach Larry Drew taking over.
It marks the third time this season that Lue has missed portions of a Cavaliers game with no word on what his supposed illness is at this point.
James, who recorded a triple-double against the Bulls with 33 points, 13 rebounds and 12 assists, said he and his teammates are worried, likening his absence as an “alarm going off.”
“I mean he’s the captain of the ship, so absolutely,” James was quoted as saying by Cleveland.com. “We worry about his health, obviously. That’s way more important than this game of basketball. We know he’s been doing everything he needs to do to stay healthy — (maybe he should) take even more measures to get himself right.”
“Everything that’s been going on with our year, it’s just another one. It doesn’t catch us off-guard because he’s been dealing with it for so long now but anytime he doesn’t come back to the bench, it’s just an alarm going off, obviously. Like I said, his health is more important. He’s not going to talk about it so I don’t want to talk about it no more either. That’s just how he is and I don’t want to get too much into it.”
Drew on the other hand, is not sure if Lue’s absence is affecting the team but he too, is unaware of what the 40-year-old’s condition is.
“I’m not sure exactly what it is, I just know that before coming out in the second half, he wasn’t feeling well,” Drew explained. “I don’t know if it’s impacting the team. I think, particularly at this stage of the season – this is the last day of a 13-day road trip – certainly some elements are going to come up. Sometimes these things, they come up and are unavoidable, and you just have to deal with it, but we know as a staff, if he’s not feeling up to par, we have to step up, and that’s just what we did.”
Drew also labeled the 13-day road trip as a successful one given the circumstances. The Cavaliers went 3-3 in six games without the likes of Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson and went on to lose the likes of Larry Nance Jr., Cedi Osman, and Rodney Hood to injury.
They are currently the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference with a regular season record of 40-29 and James is hoping the roster can be healthy by the time the NBA Playoffs arrive.
“That’s just our main thing,” James added. “We want everybody to get healthy so we can see what type of team we can become. That’s still going to be challenging. It’s hard to just hit the switch like that. Health has always been our concern throughout the season and it still is at this point.”