The Cleveland Cavaliers may be without star LeBron James when they open the season Tuesday against the Boston Celtics.
James, who has been remarkably durable during his career and never missed an opener, skipped a bulk of the preseason because of his ankle, playing 30 minutes in just one contest.
When asked about James’ chances of playing, Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue said after Sunday’s practice session: “You got to ask him. You got to see how it feels. Just getting the treatment, working the right way and see what happens.”
Lue added James was on the floor to go over some plays before getting in a cardio workout and some treatment.
“He’s getting older, like me,” Lue joked. “It’s something that he’s been trying to work on. He tried to come back and play, but his ankle could have set him back a little bit.”
When the NBA released its schedule for the 2017-18 season on Aug. 14, the Cavaliers’ season opener against the Celtics was already intriguing as an Eastern Conference finals rematch.
Eight days later, when Cleveland swapped Kyrie Irving to Boston for Jae Crowder, Isaiah Thomas, Ante Zizic and a first-round draft pick, the matchup took on an entirely different meaning.
But Lue refused to place any added significance on Tuesday’s challenge against the Celtics.
“It’s one game. I know both teams want to see each other, but at the end of the day, you don’t win a championship by winning or losing the first game. So they’re up for the game, they’re ready for it, but that’s not our main focus playing Boston,” said Lue