Miami Heat fans were surely excited to see LeBron James return to Miami for Saturday night’s game, but unfortunately for those fans, James won’t be suiting up. Cavaliers head coach David Blatt is resting James on the second night of a back-to-back in an attempt to keep him fresh for the long term.
Blatt said he had to “force the issue” when it came to resting James, according to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin.
LeBron exerted a lot of energy in the Cavaliers’ 114-108 overtime loss to the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday night. James played 45 minutes and scored 37 points, with 23 of those coming in the fourth quarter during a late rally. After the game, Blatt said James needed “more help” from his teammates.
Resting James throughout the course of the season makes plenty of sense in order for him to be better prepared for the postseason, but it’s unfortunate that he’s sitting out against his old team. Of course, Blatt can’t worry about that, and he’s doing what he thinks his best for his team.
Richard Jefferson will likely start in LeBron’s place. Cleveland sits at 13-5 on the season.