Fourth time’s a charm: Cavs retweak starting 5

Blue Lagoon

NEW YORK — Five games into the young NBA season, Cleveland Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue is committing to his fourth different starting lineup.

The Cavs will start Derrick Rose, JR Smith, LeBron James, Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson on Saturday when they play the New Orleans Pelicans, Lue said.

The latest lineup swap sends Jae Crowder, the only player Cleveland received from the Kyrie Irving trade currently in Lue’s rotation, to the bench.

It also meant abandoning Cleveland’s experiment with Love as the team’s starting center — the most radical adjustment Lue planned for the team during the offseason.

“Kevin’s still going to play some 5 when Jae comes in early for Tristan,” Lue said. “We just can’t have him playing 35 minutes at the 5. It’s wearing him down. You can kind of see that. It’s affecting his shot. We tried it, we said we’ve got a lot of versatile lineups we can try and change, but just getting back to who we were, how we’ve started over the past three years.”

The Cavs will be starting games for the foreseeable future with four of the five players who started against the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals and Rose swapped in Irving’s place.

Yet another starting lineup shift is on the horizon, expected to come whenever Isaiah Thomas is able to return from his right hip injury. Thomas is on the road trip with Cleveland and went through individual skill work on the court after the Cavs’ practice at the National Basketball Players Association’s offices in downtown Manhattan.

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