LeBron James hasn't yet turned 30 years old, but he does have quite a bit of mileage on his legs. He has made the NBA Finals in each of the last four years, and logged heavy minutes in playoff runs before that. For the most part he has been healthy, and certainly hasn't missed much game action over the last few years. It makes sense if the Cavaliers try and preserve his body as best as they can. It's likely that the Cavaliers are James' last team.
So you might look at the team's decision to hold him out of practice this morning, before letting him participate tonight as a smart way of keeping him away from unnecessary two a day practicing.
From Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal:
LeBron James missed practice Friday morning to rest his cranky back, but coach David Blatt insisted it’s just a maintenance issue and James will return to practice Friday night. The Cavs are holding their third two-a-day on Friday.
Mike Miller also sat Friday morning, while Blatt said guys like Anderson Varejao and Shawn Marion have previously sat out practices to rest. This was the first practice James has missed.
“We wanted to give him a little bit of a break. We may do more of that,” Blatt said. “These are guys with multiple years on their resume and on their legs, so we’re trying to be careful and smart with them.”
It certainly isn't time to panic yet. And honestly, part of the reason I was so keen to bring in Kevin Love was to be able to weather stuff like this. The Cavaliers need James healthy in April and beyond, but I'd like to think it's a pretty good basketball team with Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love leading the way. I hope the Cavaliers find ways to keep James around 30-33 minutes a game this year, though I don't know how much he would like that.
If this weren't a two a day and James was missing practice, okay, that might be something to think about. For now, though, this just feels smart.