Cavaliers, Headlines

Dwyane Wade heads to the bench; J.R. Smith to start

It took all of three games, but it appears J.R. Smith will regain his starting role. After the Cavaliers’ embarrassing loss to the Orlando Magic on Saturday, Dwyane Wade, Cleveland’s starting shooting guard to that point, asked Tyronn Lue to move to the bench to allow him to be more of a facilitator with the second unit.

When the Cavaliers signed Wade, much was made about fit and how a player used to having the ball in his hands would fit with a five-man unit that focuses on LeBron James as a primary ball handler. Wade wrestled with been a starting guard his entire career alongside having the ability to lead the reserve unit in the way of making plays. Cavs head coach Tyronn Lue conceded to Wade to allow him to be the team’s starting shooting guard, sharing a backcourt with Derrick Rose, but the results were less than ideal. Through three games, Wade is averaging 5.7 points and shooting 28 percent from the floor, admitting to being lost at times.

“I’m trying to find it, man,” Wade said on Saturday night. “It’s very different, different than I’ve ever played. Just trying to find my way, as we go on, see how I can be best for this team. Everything’s happened so fast. This has been a long, long week… I’ve always been a [No.] 1 or 2 option. It’s just a different game. You got to kind of figure out your way.”

Wade could have tried to tough through this stretch, but decided he would be better suited to get acclimated to the reserve unit as the primary scorer sooner than later, playing alongside Tristan Thompson, Jeff Green, and Kyle Korver within the primary rotation. This is bound to merely be the first of many lineup changes the Cavaliers experience throughout the season, but one that should only help them gel with their cavalcade of new players.

  • Eric G

    He must read the comments section of WFNY

  • Chris

    I have long been a proponent of “WFNY Commentariat for Browns GM”

  • Steve

    Starting Wade in the first place was Franconian. I’m glad this org learned a lot quicker.

  • MartyDaVille

    Good move. Lue should have done this from the start.

    Man, that Cavs game Friday night was pretty — or should I say, awfully — Brownsian.

  • BenRM

    Do you think they were starting Wade just so Wade could see how poorly Wade was playing; that way, Wade took Wade out of the starting line up?

  • MartyDaVille

    I sense that Lue was afraid of “disrespecting” a future HOFer and possibly upsetting LeBron in the process.

    Wade just showed that he’s a team guy. Good for him.

  • JM85

    You mean Saturday?

  • Chris
  • Saggy

    I wouldn’t NECESSARILY say that, exactly, because it probably wasn’t Lue’s call. But I bet this one was. And not too soon.

  • woofersus

    I’m glad it didn’t take until January, and Kudos to Wade for recognizing this is the best move and not fighting it. (whether he actually “requested” it or not)

    Wade can be a very good and valuable player still at this stage of his career, but it was just too obvious that Rose, Wade, and Lebron all sharing a backcourt is a bad lineup, and with Love playing center he doesn’t space the floor as much as he used to either. They try to run the offense through Love, but Crowder is the only guy keeping the defense honest when he gets double teamed, which pretty quickly became always. Then on the 2nd unit you have JR smith trying to play point guard instead of spacing, an awkward cadence with Rose trying to split his time, and it still all falls apart when Lebron isn’t on the floor.

    Wade as floor-general could be a godsend to the 2nd unit, where you can play 2-man with TT or pull Frye back into the rotation to space the floor along with Korver and let Wade create a bit. And meanwhile you return to a state of having 3 legit 3pt threats in the starting lineup. It’s just way better balance all around. When Isaiah Thomas comes back Wade and Rose will still need to play together, but if they’re mostly playing one or the other alongside Lebron or both without him, I think it will be ok.

  • tsm

    Agree. Given the fact that Wade is not an outside shooting threat, and even his ability to drive has slipped, he will fare much better against backups, where is experience will make up for his diminishing skills (to coin a phrase). Also , we now have some outside shooting in the backcourt of our starters. Let Shump share the backcourt with Wade and we will see an improvement.

  • Steve

    Giving a veteran way too much respect simply because he has the right person’s ear? Thats as Francona as it gets.

    Agree that it was very unlikely to be Lue’s call. Lebron the coach and GM is still a negative.