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Isaiah Thomas says his minutes should be staggered with LeBron James

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Isaiah Thomas thinks Tyronn Lue should give him some minutes without LeBron James on the floor.

Cleveland Cavaliers v Toronto Raptors Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

Isaiah Thomas has struggled since returning from injury for the Cleveland, and playing alongside LeBron James is an enormous adjustment for any ball-dominant player such as Thomas.

Thomas had a strong stretch in the third quarter playing mostly without LeBron, and he said after the game that he is on board with Tyronn Lue staggering his minutes with James so he can play with the ball in his hands.

“I think that needs to happen. My minutes just can’t be with LeBron at all times,” Thomas said after the Cavs beat the Pistons on Sunday. “We’ve got to play to our strengths. Just like Chris Paul and James Harden, they don’t play together at all times. We got to play to our strengths. (Lue) is figuring it out and we’re figuring it out as a unit, how to use our strengths and at the same time we know for the most part we start games together, finish games together and we go from there. So it’s a learning process and we’re still learning each other. I’m still learning this team and Ty Lue is still learning how to use me and use me to the best of my ability.”

This is probably the right call. Thomas, in his current iteration, is somebody who needs to shoot himself into rhythm, and doing so with LeBron James and Kevin Love on the court is obviously hugely counter productive to the offense. On bench units, he can soak up shot attempts without causing too much damage, and that will allow him to continue to work his way back into shape.

The Thomas integration hasn’t been as easy as it looked like it may be in his first couple games back from injury. There’s several bumps along the road, and locker room sniping hasn’t made it easier.

Alas, this is the roster the Cavs have. They have to make it work, and staggering minutes is probably a good start.

Chris Manning contributed to this report.