LeBron rests again as Cavaliers await playoffs
LeBron James missed his third straight game for the Cleveland
Cavaliers, who are putting rest ahead of their record as the NBA
Coach Mike Brown decided to sit James and starting forward
Anthony Parker for the team’s regular-season home finale Sunday
against the Orlando Magic. Brown also might keep James out of the
lineup Wednesday night when the Cavs close their regular season at
“We’ve talked about it as a staff and there’s a chance that
could happen,” Brown said.
Brown said center Shaquille O’Neal has not yet received medical
clearance to play. O’Neal has been out since tearing a thumb
ligament Feb. 25 and undergoing surgery. The team is hoping he
might return before the playoffs, but time is running out.
“He still has not been cleared, which I’m sort of hoping is
soon,” Brown said. “He says he’s going to be, but he’s not the
doctor so we have to wait.”
Starters Mo Williams and Antawn Jamison were expected to play
against the Magic after sitting one game.
Cleveland has the league’s best record at 61-19, but Brown is
more concerned about getting James past a few bumps and bruises and
getting his team to improve its defense before the postseason.
“We have not been good,” Brown said. “Guys have been getting
to the paint and scoring on us at will and shooting jump shoots at
Brown wants his team to regain its defensive intensity for the
first round, when the Cavs will play Toronto or Chicago.
“Hopefully we can get to the point where it gets better in
these last two games so we have a sense of where we need to be
going into the playoffs,” Brown said.