Cleveland CavaliersDownload App

Tyronn Lue Comments on Cavaliers' Health, Pursuit of No. 1 Seed in East

Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue watches during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Miami Heat, Saturday, March 19, 2016, in Miami. The Heat defeated the Cavaliers 122-101. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Lynne Sladky/Associated Press
Daniel KramerFeatured Columnist IVOctober 27, 2016

Tyronn Lue is placing a higher premium on health than home-court advantage as the playoffs draw near.

With 13 games remaining in the regular season and his team clinging to a one-game lead in the Eastern Conference standings, the Cleveland Cavaliers head coach has shifted his stance on securing the top seed, per Dave McMenamin of ESPN.com.

"We definitely want the No. 1 seed if we can get it, but I think we have to rest our guys also," Lue said Monday after the team's shootaround, per McMenamin. "I think health going into the playoffs is more important than the seeding. If we're fortunate enough to get the No. 1 seed, it will be great for us. But if not, then we just got to play through it."

The Cavaliers are 28-6 at home, which is third-best in the league behind only the Golden State Warriors and the San Antonio Spurs—both of which are undefeated on their own turf.

At 49-20, the Cavs' only true threat for the East's top seed is the Toronto Raptors, who sit a game back and hold the tiebreaker over Cleveland after winning the season series 2-1. The third-place Atlanta Hawks are 8.5 games back, and Cleveland swept them in the Eastern Conference Finals last year as the No. 2 seed.

Lue isn't overly concerned about the prospect of playing on the road, as he knows the Cavs will have to win away from home if they hope to accomplish their ultimate goal of bringing Cleveland its first NBA title.

"I think all championship teams have to win on the road anyway," Lue said, per McMenamin. "So [the No. 1 seed is] important to us, but also being healthy going into the playoffs is more important."

Health is critical in the playoffs, where Cleveland will need to win 16 games over the course of nearly two months and four series if it hopes to accomplish its goal.

Anything other than claiming a ring would be considered a failure, especially after James returned to his hometown team prior to the 2014-15 season. The Eastern Conference isn't nearly as top-heavy as the West, so preserving the health of the team's top talent, even if it results in losing the No. 1 seed, is a wise idea.

Where can I comment?

Stay on your game

Latest news, insights, and forecasts on your teams across leagues.

Choose Teams
Get it on the App StoreGet it on Google Play

Real-time news for your teams right on your mobile device.

Download
Copyright © 2017 Bleacher Report, Inc. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved. BleacherReport.com is part of Bleacher Report – Turner Sports Network, part of the Turner Sports and Entertainment Network. Certain photos copyright © 2017 Getty Images. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of Getty Images is strictly prohibited. AdChoices