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Tyronn Lue: Burden on LeBron James minimal this postseason

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio -- LeBron James has never had it any easier in the playoffs during his 13-year career, according to Cleveland Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue.

As the Cavs have coasted through the playoffs, going 8-0 after sweeping the Detroit Pistons in the first round and Atlanta Hawks in the conference semifinals, Lue said the burden placed upon James' shoulders this spring has been minimal.

"LeBron is letting the game come to him," Lue said after practice Saturday. "When he wants to be aggressive and he sees fit to be aggressive when the teams have a good run or whatever they may have, then he just takes over the game ... And with Kyrie (Irving) and Kevin (Love) playing at a high level, he can take a lot of mileage off of his body, reduce his (usage) rate and just kind of seeing and figuring out the flow of the game."

James has a career postseason scoring average of 28 points per game in 11 trips to the playoffs. He is averaging a career low 23.5 points in this postseason thus far and doesn't even lead the Cavs in scoring, as Irving is averaging 24.4 points through the first two rounds.

Despite the fact that James played with two likely future Hall of Famers in Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh during in his time in Miami, Lue said he believes the four-time MVP has never been afforded such help around him during a playoff run.

"I don't think he's been in this position before where he can just sit back and see the flow of the game, see where he has to take over the game and it's been great for him," said Lue. "I mean, to average 23 points or 24 points and sweep both series is big for us because now our other guys are stepping up, they're playing well and we know LeBron always can play well."

One thing is for sure, the difference between James' postseason run a year ago when Love (shoulder) and Irving (knee) both missed time because of injuries is striking. James averaged 30.1 points on 27.2 shot attempts per game, 11.3 rebounds, 8.5 assists and 1.7 steals per game last year in leading the Cavs to two wins away from a championship, as they lost 4-2 to the Golden State Warriors in the Finals.

His total minutes (844) and usage rate (37.6) led all players in the postseason a year ago.

James has been far more efficient this postseason, needing only 19.1 shot attempts per game for his 23.5 points, while adding 8.8 rebounds, 7.3 assists and 2.4 steals per game. Meanwhile his minutes are down from 42.2 to 38.8 per game and his usage rate is 29.7 -- tied for the second-lowest it's ever been for James in the playoffs.