CLEVELAND, Ohio — The Cleveland Cavaliers’ struggles without LeBron James over the years have been well documented.
It’s only the preseason and the final outcome doesn’t matter this time of year, but these new-look Cavaliers have been able to flourish offensively without their leader — both in practice and in the first two exhibition games.
“It’s just a lot of ball movement and body movement,” Dwyane Wade said. “Guys playing their game. Certain guys want to shoot, certain guys like me and D-Rose like to penetrate. We can get to certain things that we like to do and everyone is fine with it.
“For me, the court is so much open. It’s definitely a good thing when D-Rose and myself is trying to penetrate and you’ve got Kevin over here and you’ve got J.R. (Smith) right here the defense can’t help as much. When they do, these guys are knocking down shots and Jae (Crowder) as well. It’s good, man. It’s fun to play out there with those guys, for sure.”
That didn’t seem like the original plan. Based on the first few practices, head coach Tyronn Lue looked to be eyeing a new starting five of Derrick Rose, Smith, James, Crowder and Kevin Love. Wade appeared to be the anchor of the second unit, playing alongside Iman Shumpert, Kyle Korver, Jeff Green and Tristan Thompson.
But James’ left ankle injury, which will keep him out of Sunday’s game as well, has led to Wade starti