Heat will rest James in final road game against Cavaliers

Associated Press
4/15/2013 7:29:40 PM
Decrease Text SizeIncrease Text Size
Text Size

CLEVELAND -- LeBron James will spend his latest homecoming game this season watching instead of playing.

James is being kept out of Miami's final road game -- against the Cavaliers -- as the Heat get ready for the NBA playoffs by resting almost all of their top players.

Coach Erik Spoelstra has decided to sit James and starters Chris Bosh and Mario Chalmers for Monday night's game. Dwyane Wade (knee), Shane Battier (knee) and Udonis Haslem (ankle) are injured and did not even make the trip to Cleveland.

Before the game, James shot around on the floor of Quicken Loans Arena and broke a healthy sweat, but would not be dressing in uniform for his sixth game in Cleveland since he left as a free agent in 2010.

"I'm never sad about sitting," he said, smiling. "I'm sad about not playing."

Spoelstra said James, who has been slowed by tightness in his hamstrings, understands the decision to rest. Spoelstra will only have nine players in uniform and will start 40-year-old Juwan Howard. Spoelstra wasn't concerned about whether James was miffed about not playing.

"I don't know. I don't care," he said. "He understands, and obviously this is a special place for him. But we're focusing on getting our guys right and getting into a rhythm."

With the best record in the Eastern Conference, the Heat have clinched homecourt throughout the playoffs. They will open the post-season this weekend against Milwaukee.

Wade played on Sunday and scored 22 points as the Heat won its 36th home game to set a franchise record. Spoelstra said he decided to sit James shortly after the game.

Against the Cavs, Miami started Norris Cole, Mike Miller, Joel Anthony, Rashard Lewis and Howard.

James said he was mildly upset about not being able to play in front of some family members and friends. However, the superstar supports Spoelstra's decision.

"Yeah, it's disappointing," he said. "But for us as a team, we did what we did during the regular season to clinch home court throughout the playoffs so it gives me an opportunity for me and some of our big guys to get some rest."

On Miami's previous visit to Cleveland, the Heat overcame a 27-point deficit to win. During that game, a fan ran onto the floor in the fourth quarter to try and reach James. The Cavs beefed up their security detail around Miami's bench, and a team spokesman said additional security measures were implemented in light of the bombings in Boston.

James was saddened by the tragedy.

"It puts everything in perspective," he said. "It's sad that someone would want to do something like that to take someone's life, innocent victims. What we do is nothing compared to something like that."

LeBron James Dwyane Wade (Photo: Jonathan Newton / The Washington Post via Getty Images)


(Photo: Jonathan Newton / The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Share This

Share This

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to FarkAdd to TwitterAdd to Stumble UponAdd to Reddit
Print this Story

Big Tour

A Historic Event

It was Canada's night at the NBA Draft as four players from north of the border were selected.

1. Andrew Wiggins - Cavaliers

8. Nik Stauskas - Kings

18. Tyler Ennis - Suns

45. Dwight Powell - Hornets

2014 NBA Draft Tracker

Social Media
twitter icon

Follow the Raptors and Raptor play-by-play man Matt Devlin on Twitter! Check out the latest Tweets!


TSN 1050: 1On1 With Will & Duane - August 31st 2014

After drubbing Finland; is Team USA too confident? Will & Duane examine this, the Raptors at FIBA World Cup, Durant's Nike deal, WNBA Playoffs & more

TSN 1050: 1On1 With Will & Duane - August 24th 2014

Love for Wiggins is official! Is the future bright for Minny? DeMar DeRozan makes USMNT, Tim Leiweke steps down from Raptors & what's next for Kobe?

TSN 1050: 1On1 With Will & Duane - Aug 10th 2014

Love-Wiggins done deal? KD: The Real Reasons, what's next for USA Basketball, Becky Hammon breaks barriers & Naismith 2014 Hall of Fame Inductees

More Podcasts

© 2014
All rights reserved.
Bell Media Television