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Cleveland Cavaliers guard Dwyane Wade excused for "personal matter"
Tom Withers | The Associated Press
CLEVELAND (AP) — Dwayne Wade will miss time for a personal matter, creating yet another obstacle for the struggling Cavaliers.
Wade was excused from the team Friday as the Cavs hosted Indiana and he could be out longer to deal with the unspecified situation. Coach Tyronn Lue did not provide any details for Wade’s absence or a timeline for his return.
Lue said general manager Koby Altman told Wade to “take his time” during the unspecified leave.
“How much ever time he needs to take to get over what he’s going through, then he’ll be back,” Lue said.
Wade has played well coming off the bench in his first season with Cleveland, which has dropped 10 of 13 and currently sits in the No. 3 spot in the Eastern Conference standings behind Boston and Toronto.
The 36-year-old is averaging 11.1 points, 3.9 points and 3.7 assists in 42 games. The three-time NBA champion willingly moved to Cleveland’s second unit earlier this season and has been a steadying force for the team.
With Wade gone, Lue said guard Derrick Rose will likely play more minutes. Rose missed two months with an ankle injury before returning recently and the Cavs have been mindful of his minutes as he gets into game shape.
Wade’s absence coincides with Lue making a change to his starting lineup to try and shake his team from its funk.
Jae Crowder has been dropped from the starting lineup and replaced by center Tristan Thompson. With Thompson back as a starter, All-Star Kevin Love can return to power forward – his natural position.
Lue said his players embraced the changes, which should help the Cavs’ shaky defense.
“Jae Crowder was great. Just talking to him, he’s been good,” Lue said. “He’s about the right things. The last few games he’s been shooting the ball a lot better. Defensively, I think it helps us having two bigs. We’ve been getting crushed on the glass. So I think Kevin and Tristan on the floor together defensively rebounding is good. And also in the pick-and-rolls. I thought they tried to expose us in pick-and-rolls with Isaiah (Thomas) and Kevin playing the five.”