Iman Shumpert to start for LeBron James in 2017 National Basketball Association preseason finale

Iman Shumpert to start for LeBron James in 2017 National Basketball Association preseason finale

The four-time MVP has taken the court only once in the ongoing National Basketball Association preseason - on Tuesday evening when the Cavs fell 108-94 to the Chicago Bulls.

LeBron James will miss the remainder of the preseason as he recovers from a sprained left ankle, Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com reports.

James, who first tweaked his ankle during a September 27 practice, sat out of Wednesday's practice after he re-aggravated his sprained left ankle.

Cavaliers coach Tyron Lue has said that, because of James' injury, it remains unclear if he can participate in the team's opening game for the 2017-2018 National Basketball Association season, where they will be going against the Boston Celtics, which will feature former Cavaliers All-Star guard Kyrie Irving, who was traded to his new team only last month. James played a team-high 30 minutes in the 108-94 defeat, accounting for 17 points on 8-for-13 shooting from the field, five rebounds three assists and eight turnovers.

"Was pretty much bracing myself for it", said Smith, who compared what happened with Wade to a situation he experienced with the New York Knicks. "So, um, (LeBron is) pretty mad, pretty pissed off". Due to James' ankle problems, that personnel group has had practically no time to get used to each other.


While Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward ended up in Boston, the archrival Celtics, still will have to contend with Cleveland, a unsafe Atlanta Hawks squad and an under-the-radar team in the Miami Heat.

Lue said J.R. Smith will rejoin the starting lineup while James is out and guard Jose Calderon will enter the rotation. Sure, there was a little rust and some kinks to work out, but the Cavs have a veteran-filled, loaded bench-which had been their Achilles heel, the last few years-that may help put them over the top.

James wanted to play even though he wasn't at full speed.

"It's a challenge when you've got a new team and you want to incorporate stuff, but you don't want to go too fast, you don't want to go too slow", he said. "I actually like playing on the second unit better", Smith said.

The 32-year-old James has never missed an opener in 14 seasons, and this one has some special sizzle.

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