Cleveland Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue could return to the bench as early as next week after taking an indefinite leave of absence for health reasons.
On Monday, Lue revealed he would step back from his role to address health issues that have left him sleep deprived and battling chest pains.
“Despite a battery of tests, there have been no conclusions as to what the exact issue is,” he said in an official statement.
"While I have tried to work through it, the last thing I want is for it to affect the team. I am going to use this time to focus on a prescribed routine and medication, which has previously been difficult to start in the midst of a season.”
While Lue’s words sounded very serious, according to David Aldridge of NBA.com, the 40-year-old’s absence could be a lot shorter than expected.
Citing an unnamed source, Aldridge said Lue will be away for a week and the Cavs plan to have him back on the bench next week.
Following back-to-back home games against the Toronto Raptors and the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday and Friday, the Cavs embark on a three-game road trip to face the Nets in Brooklyn on Sunday, before taking on the Miami Heath on March 27 and the Charlotte Hornets a day later.
As such, it is difficult to envisage Lue returning in the middle of a road trip, which leaves the match against the New Orleans Pelicans on March 30 as the likeliest return date.
In their first game without their coach, the Cavs surged to a 124-117 win against the Milwaukee Bucks on home court, notching their second consecutive win and moving up to third in the Eastern Conference standings with a 41-29 record.
Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 37 points and added 11 rebounds and five assists for the Bucks but was overshadowed by LeBron James, who clinched his 16th triple-double of the season, with 40 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists.
At 33 years and 79 days of age, James became the third-oldest player in NBA history to score a triple-double with at least 40 points, behind only Larry Bird and Elgin Baylor, who achieved the feat aged 35 years and 99 days and 34 days and 48 days respectively.
“I'm not going to make shots every night, but what I do know is I'm going to do other things if I don't make shots to get my guys involved and rebound and defend,” James said, as reported by ESPN.
“I can take a charge here and there if it presents itself, I can block shots and get steals. I can always figure out a way to be a threat on the floor even if I'm not scoring. For me that doesn't change."
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