For the third time this season, an undisclosed illness has kept Tyronn Lue from coaching, writes Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com. Lue remained in the locker room after halftime of Saturday’s win over the Bulls as chief assistant Larry Drew ran the team. LeBron James called Lue’s condition one more distraction in a season filled with them.
“I mean he’s the captain of the ship, so absolutely,” James said. “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.”
There’s more news out of Cleveland:
- Between salary and tax penalties, today’s signing of Okaro White will cost Cleveland about $400K, Vardon tweets. The 10-day contract for the former Heat forward was necessitated by a league rule that allows teams to drop their roster to 13 players for just two weeks at a time.
- Veteran point guard Jose Calderon continues to be a steady, if often overlooked, producer for the Cavs, notes Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. With Kyle Korver tending to a family emergency and Rodney Hood sidelined with back issues, Calderon posted nine points, six assists and seven rebounds Saturday while playing a season-high 36 minutes. Cleveland is 18-8 this year when he starts and 21-10 when he plays at least 10 minutes. “I know everything lately is about stats, but it’s more than that,” said Calderon, who will be a free agent this summer. “Just for me, like I always say since Day 1, my job is to be ready, to help these guys in whatever situation they need.”
- James, who has a chance to play all 82 games for the first time in his career, seems to be healthier than ever at age 33, relays Jason Lloyd of The Athletic. He no longer takes anti-inflammatory injections for his back and he has gotten past the knee pain that used to force him to take time off during the season. “I’m having a heck of a time playing the game right now no matter who’s in the lineup for us,” James said. “We’re not winning as much as we would like, but we’re still figuring out ways to get wins, which is very tough in this league. We already know that. But the joy of the game is very high for me right now.”