LeBron James has missed several preseason games with a sprained ankle. This isn’t usually a big deal because many teams are cautious with players in the preseason. But what’s raised eyebrows is that King James is listed as questionable for the October 17 opening night game against Boston.
However, Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue seems pretty sure that James will play in the opening game. He told ESPN’s Dave McMenamin the following:
“I think he’ll be OK, though. That would be a tough one for him personally to miss. There’s a lot of hype behind the game but like I told him, we got to be smart about it. It’s just one game, but I think he’ll be OK.”
James said that he’s frustrated by the injury. But it’s important that he doesn’t push things because ankle injuries are delicate. If the ligament becomes looser, then a player can easily re-injure it later. James actually re-aggravated his injury just a few days ago.
Cavs vs Celtics Opening Night 2017
Both the Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics have rosters that are quite different from the previous year.
The Cavs signed Dwayne Wade and Derrick Rose in the offseason. They also made a big trade with the Boston Celtics that sent star point guard Kyrie Irving for Jae Crowder and Isaiah Thomas. Thomas won’t be available until Christmas time, but Crowder will make an immediate impact.
This is especially the case on opening night because both squads are trying to make their lineups gel. This is proving really hard for the Cavaliers because they haven’t won a preseason game. Furthermore, their starting lineup of Derrick Rose, Wade, James, Crowder, and Kevin Love has yet to find any consistenty together.
The preseason doesn’t always mean a lot. But in this case, I strongly believe that it indicates the Celtics are more ready than Cleveland right now.
Cavs 2017 Futures
Don’t read too much into my comments above because the Cavaliers are still favored by many to win the Eastern Conference. This is the case in our GTBets futures too because we have the Cavs at -140 for winning the East.
Boston was a gritty defensive team last year thanks to Crowder, Bradley, and Marcus Smart. This year, they’ll have to develop a new identity after adding offensive-minded players like Irving and Hayward.
The future looks bright for Boston. But they could be one year away from being favorites in the East. The primary reason why is because LeBron has now made 7 straight trips to the NBA Finals.
While he’s dealing with a new roster in Cleveland this year, LeBron is still considered the best player in the NBA. That said, don’t be surprised to see the Cavs win yet another Eastern Conference title and move on to the championship.