CLEVELAND – The Cavaliers will have a shorthanded rotation and coaching staff on Thursday at Quicken Loans Arena.
Within one hour before opening tipoff against the Bulls, Cleveland ruled out both shooting guard J.R. Smith (knee) and head coach Tyronn Lue (ill). Associate head coach Larry Drew will assume duties at the helm, while Channing Frye will shift into the starting lineup for the first time this season.
Lue talked to the media at a pregame press conference, but was ruled out of action shortly thereafter. He previously coached every game throughout the first two months of the campaign.
The severity of Smith’s status remains unknown, as he reportedly was not with his normal shooting group at shootaround earlier in the day. With three off-days separating the Wine and Gold from their next matchup, he will use the weekend to recover from the soreness.
Smith is averaging 7.8 points, 3.1 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.0 steals over 30.3 minutes per game in 2017-18. He was part of a three-team deal that sent Dion Waiters to the Thunder on Jan. 7, 2015.
John Alfes has covered Cleveland sports since August of 2016. Follow him on Twitter @JohnAlfes for breaking news and in-depth coverage all season long.
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