Last year, the Cleveland Cavaliers won 57 wins. That was far from the league-leading Golden State Warriors’ record 73 and just a tad above the East’s second seed Toronto Raptors’ 56 wins.

They were far from dominant. Cleveland showed inconsistencies all throughout the regular season. But there was one thing that remained under-the-radar which the Cavaliers executed to perfection from game one to 82, and that was effectively managing LeBron James’ floor time.

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The result was a career-low in minutes played for the four-time MVP, and a relatively fresh body come postseason.

The championship that they won in June solidified the importance of their strategy, and coach Tyronn Lue will be using the same approach this season, per Joe Vardon of

“Yeah, I’ve looked at the schedule. Just seeing what makes sense and what’s smart when playing four-in-five type of nights. Can’t run our guys into the ground. We have to be smart, understand we have to take care of our bodies and take care of our key guys. Make sure that when we get to the playoffs we’re ready to go.”

“My thing is just making sure guys are healthy, continue to limit LeBron’s minutes and he was at an all-time low last year, watch Kyrie’s minutes because we know we’re playing for something big. We know when we get to the playoffs it’s going to require a lot of minutes so with those guys and with Kevin (Love), just have to watch guys getting to the red zone.”

On the other hand, Kyrie Irving is only 24-years-old, but he’s had a very busy summer playing for Team USA in Rio. This leaves Kevin Love as the only relatively fresh member of the Big Three heading into training camp.

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As they say, winning the title is already a difficult task, but defending it is even more daunting. Looking at the NBA landscape, teams have improved their respective rosters and at the forefront are the Warriors with new addition Kevin Durant.