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Tristan Thompson is back in the starting lineup as Cavs go big vs. Bulls

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Along with J.R. Smith, a starter from last year makes his return to the starting five.

NBA: Preseason-Chicago Bulls at Cleveland Cavaliers Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

The week began with Dwyane Wade deciding it was best for him to come off the bench in favor of J.R. Smith. But the changes aren’t ending there, as the Cleveland Cavaliers have decided to start LeBron James at point guard, alongside Smith, Jae Crowder, Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson against the Chicago Bulls:

While LeBron almost always operates as the team’s primary initiator, this is one of the first times we have seen him start without a true secondary creator. The team has used Love in the post to generate offense so far this season, but the perimeter play-making will be left to James.

Part of the mentality for going with this lineup against the Bulls is to reduce the wear on Love, going against Robin Lopez. Lopez is an incredibly physical player and Thompson would likely do a much better job dealing with his size on the inside.

After what was initially viewed as an uninspired choice by Tyronn Lue to start the season with Wade and Derrick Rose, we are now seeing an outside the box strategy that is incredibly intriguing. With news coming out that Lue started Wade to help manage the ego and give him a chance to figure out that a bench role is what’s best for him, it appears as though Lue has had some bigger plans for his lineups hidden up his sleeve all along.