Tyronn Lue says LeBron James still needs to regain timing, looked rusty
After missing the first three games of preseason due to a sprained ankle, LeBron James was finally able to make his debut against the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday.
However, James clearly did not look like himself. Despite scoring 17 points on 8-of-13 shooting with five rebounds and three assists, he also committed eight turnovers as the Cavs lost 108-94 and fell to 0-4 in preseason.
As Cavs Nation’s Nikki Goel reports, Cavs head coach Tyronn Lue acknowledged that LeBron James looked a bit rusty and that his timing wasn’t quite right on his return. However, Lue wasn’t worried about his star player’s condition moving forward.
Coach Lue says LeBron’s timing was off tonight, hasn’t played in a long time (June). Isn’t worried about the rust or the ankle.
— Nikki Goel (@NikkiGoelCavs) October 11, 2017
It shouldn’t be too surprising to see James looking so uncharacteristically off his game against Chicago. Not only did he have an extended layoff from playing competitive games and had limited activity following his injury, but he was also playing with three new teammates.
From a purely physical standpoint, it takes time for anyone to get acclimated to the speed of a live NBA game after going so long without playing at that intensity. At 32 years of age, James is no spring chicken anymore and his body might just need more time to get back up to speed playing top-caliber basketball.
There’s no need to be overly concerned about LeBron James’ bad preseason performance. If he’s completely healthy and injury-free, which he appears to be, it should just be a matter of time before he works out whatever rust he still has and regains his timing and rhythm.