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Sunday, January 20, 2019

Ty Lue calls for LeBron James to be more aggressive, hints at lineup changes

Tyronn Lue

LeBron James did not have his best game when the Cleveland Cavaliers were blown out by the Indiana Pacers in their first playoff game on Sunday, and his coach is calling for him to adjust his style of play heading into Game 2.

On Monday, Cavs head coach Tyronn Lue told reporters LeBron needs to be more aggressive from the opening tip-off.

“He has to be aggressive and set the tone early,” Lue said, per Dave McMenamin of ESPN.com. “We talked about that today … being aggressive early, setting the tone, especially for these new guys, bringing these guys along. He understood that, but once again, he’s always a guy trying to get his teammates off early, get them guys going, then try to feel the game out. But be ready to set a tone.”

LeBron had an impressive stat line in Game 1 with 24 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds, but he did not attempt a shot until there was 1:52 remaining in the first quarter. The Cavs were trailing 25-8 at the time, and they were essentially dominated the entire game.

“I know he played 40-some minutes, but he said his body felt good. He’s in a good place,” Lue added. “(James) just said, ‘We got to be more aggressive offensively, me being aggressive.’ That’s about it.”

Lue was also asked if he is planning to make any lineup changes on Wednesday, and he would not rule it out. He hinted that Tristan Thompson and/or JR Smith could be inserted into the starting lineup.

“We’re looking at it but I’m not going to talk about it,” he said. “We’ve been talking about it as a staff. I just know those guys have been through everything with us the last four years and we won a championship, went to three Finals. Tristan and JR played a big part of that. We understand that and trust me, we know that.”

LeBron originally defended his unusually passive approach in Game 1, but it seems like he realizes it contributed to the poor result. Typically when things like this happen, he comes out possessed the following game. It will be interesting to see if history repeats itself on Wednesday.

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