Five games into the NBA season, the Cavs are 3-2 and are unsure of their starting lineup.
Coach Tyronn Lue is committing to his fourth different starting lineup against the Pelicans on Saturday, but the players do not seem opposed to the changes and are willing to do whatever it takes to figure out the best rotation for the Cavs.
The latest lineup sends Jae Crowder to the bench and will feature LeBron James, Kevin Love, Derrick Rose, J.R. Smith and Tristan Thompson. Lue described Crowder as “another class act” when he had a difficult conversation about how the forward’s role would change.
“[Crowder] said ‘Nah, do whatever you want. You don’t have to explain anything to me,” Lue said. “I just want to win. That’s the most important thing.”
“I’ve been open to change because we haven’t found our groove yet,” Jae Crowder told reporters. “We’re still searching for answers to see how we can get games rolling in our favor. So I’m open to whatever the team wants me to do, because at the end of the day we’re trying to reach a goal.”
The Cavs opened the season with Rose, Dwyane Wade, James, Crowder and Kevin Love. It then switched to Jose Calderon, James, Wade, Crowder and Love as starters and then James, Smith, Crowder, Love, and Thompson.
The Cavs are trying to incorporate eight new players, which will take some time for the starters to get adjusted.
“It’s just a learning curve that you have to go through when you’re adding a new group, and I don’t want it easy, anyways,” James said. “I don’t like for it to be easy. I like the challenge.”