LeBron James refuses talk of fatigue, Tyronn Lue thinks he’s tired
Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James refused to blame a Game 5 loss to the Boston Celtics on his fatigue, even if his minutes have declined from the two earlier series in this postseason.
The King had a strong shooting night, scoring 26 points in 11-of-22 shooting, but there were moments in the game when the wear-and-tear of these playoffs showed with some careless turnovers, racking up six for the game.
“I had my moments,” James said when asked if he was tired, according to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst. “I think everybody at this point is tired or worn down.”
Later in the post-game press conference, James dismissed the issue when brought up again.
“I’m fine,” he said. “I didn’t mention fatigue, [the media] did.”
Head coach Tyronn Lue altered his rotation to give James a little-added rest at the end of the second quarter, one which he hadn’t need to do throughout the entire postseason. Lue planned to have James start the fourth quarter after giving him some rest at the end of the third, but his star forward wasn’t ready to return to the game, which left him and teammate Kevin Love on the bench at the same time, something Lue didn’t expect.
“He looked a little tired to me,” Lue said, shortly mending his comment. “[I have] no concerns. You’ve got to be ready to play now.”
James has only played one of the five games above 40 minutes in this series, already a massive difference from the three 40-plus-minute games in a sweep of the Toronto Raptors and the whopping six 40-plus-minute outings against the Indiana Pacers.
The trend shows it, the heavy minute workload is starting to show and another heroic 48-minute outing to stave off elimination now seems all the more unlikely with his legs run through the ground in the past month-and-change.