Cavaliers lose LeBron for 2 weeks

VIDEO: LeBron out for two weeks

LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers are having a lousy year.

The year 2015 wasn’t even 15 hours old, after all, when the Cavaliers announced that James, their franchise guy for the second time, was going to miss “the next two weeks” with left knee and lower back strains. James already had sat out the Cavs’ back-to-back games at Atlanta Tuesday and against Milwaukee Wednesday with left knee soreness, so if he truly is out two more weeks, he will be sidelined until or through the Jan. 15 game against the Lakers in Los Angeles.

That one is the fourth on the Cavs’ five-game upcoming West Coast swing. If that timetable holds, it means James would be sidelined for nine or 10 consecutive games, the longest stretch of his 12-season career. It also would cause him to play his fewest games ever in a full season – he missed seven of 82 games in 2007-08, with a maximum of 71 possible if he’s back in time for the Lakers. Even in 2011-12, James’ 62 appearances in the lockout-shortened 66-game schedule were the equivalent of 77 in a normal season.

Guess it proves the old saying that “getting old isn’t for sissies,” since James just turned 30 on Tuesday.

Social media was buzzing quickly, even on a day with only two scheduled NBA games in the evening (Denver at Chicago and Sacramento at Minnesota). But the Cavaliers were out front of most of it with their official status update:

LeBron James was evaluated yesterday at Cleveland Clinic Sports Health by Richard D. Parker, MD, Cavaliers Head Team Physician. Tests included physical exam, radiographs and a MRI, the results of which revealed left knee and low back strains. These conditions will be treated via a multimodal approach consisting of anti-inflammatories, rehabilitation, training room treatments, and rest. LeBron is currently projected to be Out for the next 2 weeks.

Cleveland’s 18-14 record (0-3 without James), its other injuries (Kevin Love and Shawn Marion both missed Wednesday’s game with back spasms and an ankle sprain, respectively, and big man Anderson Varejao is out for the season after Achilles surgery), head coach David Blatt‘s newness to the NBA and the whole group’s inconsistent progress along the learning curve to presumed contender status has set hands to wringing in northeast Ohio.

Even James has drawn criticism. He remains the only player in the league averaging at least 25 points, five rebounds and seven assists, while shooting 48 percent or better. But his numbers are down in several categories – his 25.0 PER is the lowest since his rookie year and off from the 31.7, 31.1, 30.7 and 31.6 of his four MVP seasons – and his engagement with the Cavs’ newly assembled roster has been questioned.

As a result, everything from James’ rapport with Blatt to his long-term commitment to staying in Cleveland has been the subject of speculation.

Here’s something else for folks to speculate on: How are the Cavaliers going to do without their best player and acknowledged leader? If Love and/or Kyrie Irving pick up so much of the slack, will people immediately wonder if their games are being stunted by James’ presence? If Cleveland struggles, will James be positioned to make a stronger case for a fifth MVP?

If nothing else, NBA fans are about to see something entirely different in seeing the nothing of James’ immediate future in suits and training rooms throughout the league for the next couple weeks.

32 Comments

  1. Indiana'sownLarryBird says:

    Have you ever dated a girl for while and had a bad break up that left a bad feeling with u, then left her for something more hotter and better, then that ran it’s course and you went back to the first girl and it’s not the same as the past and then u start feeling how bad it was and why you left the first girl, and now you miss the hot girl were you had your best times, and your in denial. Look Lebron left Miami on his feeling’s and losing in the finals, and Pat Riley or should i say OG Pat Riley with all respect, was right in the press conference about Lebron. Lebron want’s to win Championships, and is giving Cleveland a chance, that’s why he signed a two deal, and can opt out after this year, with the way this guy think’s and has made moves in the past you do the math and tell me what’s going to happen?? Sitting for two weeks and what he said to Wade in the game on the 25 he’s givin up on Cleveland all ready…

  2. Jackitup says:

    Biggest game of the season, Toronto and GSW, two top teams playing tonight yet no mention of it here. Is there another site somewhere where you can read up on this or is Lebron’s two week vacation more important. I think whoever writes on this site ought to open their ears and eyes as to what’s going on here. NBA, wake-up. Is Adam Silver aware of this, or does he have any say on this. NBA, live in the real world. Lebron is old news.

  3. Hanksterock says:

    It seems the King is out of his element without his past teammates and that took about a season to flavor just right. However, team chemistry is not always an automatic and it’s too early still to tell and for that, we’ll just have to wait and see. Wade on the other hand seems healthy and have stepped up to the plate for the Miami Heat. Speculation about not playing well from aging earlier than other past super-star legend like Jordan is just silly. Injuries don’t determine athletic inabilities, time does.

    Ask yourself: the Cavaliers do have some good talented players excluding LeBron so, why are they struggling? Then ask yourself: What would Coach Popovich do or any other great coaches? The key element in a great team is how a leader bring out the best in all players in a team together with or without a king.

  4. Straight Shooter says:

    The guy is a bum!

  5. Chilis says:

    lebron was made by publicity, but we Know tha he is the player of the business only that and without Wade and Busch to give him rings is bad, Cavs can meke e beter team without Lebron changing him for a center ann shooting guard.

  6. Shipcrkmojo says:

    Lebron can only do so much to change the ‘me first’ culture of that first unit. Waters just needs to be traded, Blatt is way over his head. And management has got to build a younger, better bench (except for Marion, who can still play and brings a ton of positive veteran leadership).

  7. Gah Guh says:

    not playing for 2 weeks will not give him any ring..he should just join shaq and barkley for the stupid NBA stuff comments.

  8. gospursgo says:

    Wade made lebron a Champion. No more rings for lebron. No defence no Championships. Simple stuff.

  9. dw-dt says:

    some human beeing have a poor genetic, lebron is getting old super fast, 30 year old and he has a old guy face, the body is less fresh visually. he is the 18/28 year old type of guy, and won’t age good, at 32 he will be like a 40 year old vet. burned, and 80% of his game is body oriented not tecnhique, not good. He will go down quick.
    Wade is the same type, old before 30. kobe did better, jordan did better, nowitsky, duncan. they were fresh a lot longer.

  10. Jan says:

    I bet 36 year old Kobe with that team would be the best in the East.

  11. Jan says:

    The Legend of LeFluke is already ending? LOL
    LeFluke fans be blaming it on everyone, but LeFluke himself.

  12. Stamiraa says:

    Coach very bad Cleveland

  13. Stamiraa says:

    James go to miami heat

  14. Jose says:

    I believe the Cavs should be in the market for a new coach and a rebounder (even more so now that Varejao is out for the season)… All championship teams and contenders have always had a strong presence down below.

  15. Marty says:

    The hate against the best player is unreal..How well are the Heat doing without him?

  16. harriethehawk says:

    I’m not a Kyrie Irving, Heat, Lebron James, Coach Blatt, or Cleveland fan. They they need a new coach and they need to lose Waiters and Kevin Love. Yeah, I said it.

  17. dustydreamnz says:

    They’re still 2nd faves with my bookie.

  18. SM says:

    For 7 years Labron played for Cleveland and performed very well at championship level but Cleveland management did not build the right roster around Labron.
    In Miami, they built the right team around Labron and in 4 years they had 2 championships.
    Labron made the wrong decision again and went back to Cleveland. Same story as those 7 years. Cleveland management do not have the right planning for championship. If he would have stayed in Miami, they could get another championship in 2015.
    Now the situation is confusing. Neither Miami is playing good nor Cleveland.

  19. DAZ says:

    Let me make this simple: Kyrie Irving is easily as good as wade and continues to be so. His lack of playoff experience will be overcome by his skills and heart. You have a small point on Bosh exceeding Love to this point in the season (defensively only). Blatt will remain for sure. LeBron will again reach MVP status or at very least a frontrunner. Season still young.

    • KevinNbafanforlife says:

      The only thing simple in your post is your lack of basketball IQ. Kyrie never has or never will be as good as Dwade ever. Flashy ball handling and ball hogging on losing teams is Irvings game. Do a fact check next time and compare their careers. When Irving averages 24ppg for his career, is 10 time allstar finals MVP, 3 time NBA champion, then you can repost. Until then keep on losing with Kyrie…..

  20. Neil Friedman says:

    QUEEN JAMES.

  21. krespino says:

    Simple reality: LeBron is not the leader who will turn the Cavaliers into a championship team.
    As many writers have pointed out, the Cavaliers project is not even close to the situation in Miami Heat where there was a most capable Dwyane Wade with leadership and championship experience and a significant Pat Riley element.
    Even Chris Bosh at that time was better than today’s Kevin Love since Bosh played defense as well.
    And there is not much of anything else in the rest of the Cavaliers roster.
    Now LeBron will see that coach Blatt is fired (although he will say it’s the other players that want the coach out); but it is highly unlikely that things will improve drastically, in the direction of becoming a real team.
    Same old story; the superstar puts the blame on the other players and the coach: Dwight Howard in his last two years in Orlando, LeBron in his first term with Cavs.

    • Soften James says:

      The only problem in Cleveland is Irving. Anyone with the smallest basketball IQ knows he is just a ball hog.

      Blatt is also another fraud, but undoubtedly Kyrie is the main reason of Cavaliers bad season till know.

      • KevinNbafanforlife says:

        I couldn’t agree more. All of these low IQ NBA fans, look at his flashy ball handling and become enamored with Kyrie. What they don’t see is poor defense, bad shots forced shots and a guy who is really more concerned with scoring than winning. He is the 6 ft version of Carmelo. Great scorer but not a winner. Actually I just insulted Carmelo by making that comparison – so forgive me Carmelo LOL!

    • Mespi0210 says:

      I truly find your view very interesting. I must say, Cleveland’s project is no where near what was created for four years in Miami. That roster was much deeper.

    • Gnolas says:

      brah.its wokring together..not blaming on each other..ever heard jordan complain to bulls management regarding jerry sloan? no he just told them to get quality back up player that want to improve..then he got pip and h.grant, and later phil, rookie coach that build chicagi dynasty together..james..he just complains..

      • Actually Jerry Sloan was the coach of those great Utah Jazz teams. Jerry KRAUSE was the GM of the Bulls. And his clashes with Jordan are legendary. In fact, Jordan threatened several times to retire if Krause was still the GM. He and most of the players on the Bulls despised Krause. The hate became so real that players would openly mock Krause when he walked into the locker room. In fact Krause pursued Toni Kukoc so heavily to try to prove that he could in essence “create” a superstar. So the players (mostly Scottie because Jordan was retired) openly made Toni prove his worth before they would even have a conversation with him.
        I say that to say know your facts a bit more before criticizing Lebron. He’s playing as hard as he can for a coach with clear strategic discrepancies. The coach has a European style offense with Kevin Love standing on the opposite side of the ball on the three point line. Many European coaches simply have an inability to adjust their coaching styles to the NBA. Much like D’antoni refusing to run post up sets for Gasol. Blatt needs to adjust to the players and not the other way around. Lebron isn’t in the wrong here.

    • timpson says:

      I agree

      • sally says:

        sounds like a bunch of disgruntled Kobe idiots !!

      • Todd Zornow says:

        the fact is both lebron and the knicks missed a golden opportunity, lebron should have come to new york and the knicks should have jettisoned carmelo,, phil jackson was just the kind of support figure that lebron needed at this point if he was going to make a move to another city who better then lebron to follow michael and kobe as the heir apparent in running the triangle offense???? a golden opportunity was missed as when shaq was a free agent and the knicks instead of foolishly spending their money on allen houston, chris childs and larry johnson, could have gone after shaq!!! and paired him with ewing!! and then filled in the pieces around them, what kind of a team would that have been with shaq down low and ewing at the high post?? how would jordan have gotten past that?? instead as usual with most new york teams neither the vision or the balls to pull off such a move is just simply not there!