LeBron James returned to the Cleveland Cavaliers lineup on Tuesday night against Phoenix after missing a couple of weeks with knee and back issues. During the second quarter, Cavs coach David Blatt was arguing with the refs after LeBron was called for an offensive foul when LeBron stepped in and pushed him out of the way to argue matters himself. On one hand, it could be argued that LeBron sought to save his coach from a technical, but it’s difficult to recall many incidents of players being this assertive in similar situations with coaches who have command of their team’s respect.
There’s no way to know whether or not LeBron and Blatt are actually getting along right now, but we do know that the Cavs have been struggling with him out of the lineup — even though Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving are, purportedly, stars — and there’s a lot of pressure on Blatt. James, however, finished the night with 33 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists in the 37 minutes he played. J.R. Smith also had a good night and finished with 29 points. The Cavs still lost 107-100.