After an unexpected blowout loss to the hands of the Orlando Magic on Saturday night, the Cleveland Cavaliers appear to be making a change to its starting lineup.
Cavaliers guard Dwyane Wade asked head coach Tyronn Lue over the weekend if he could move from the starting lineup to the bench, according to Dave McMenamin of ESPN. Wade, now in his 15th season in the NBA, has come off of the bench just 11 times previously in his career.
“I just decided, earlier than later, just to get to the unit where I’d be more comfortable in and can probably be better with this team in that lineup,” Wade said after practice Monday. “Why wait? Three games in, why wait? Wanted to get in there with those guys.”
With Wade moving from the starting unit to the bench, J.R. Smith will return to the starting lineup. In three games this season with the Cavaliers, Wade is averaging just 5.7 points on 28 percent shooting from the field.
Although the Cavaliers are 2-1 this season after defeating the Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks, the team is coming off of a 21-point loss to the Magic. The Cavaliers trailed by as many as 37 points in that contest and converted on only 7-of-25 shots from three-point range.
The Cavaliers are hoping this new starting lineup can bring more consistency for Wade and Smith in their new roles. Wade figures to become more of a primary ball-handler in the second unit where he has excelled for most of his career. Coach Lue said Wade coming off of the bench will be a permanent move this season.
The Cavaliers will debut this new lineup on Tuesday night against the Chicago Bulls.