McRae (coach's decision) didn't play in Wednesday's 126-94 win over the Knicks. It wasn't surprising that McRae had failed to play in the Cavaliers' previous two games -- a six-point loss last Friday to the Bulls and a four-point win Monday over the Raptors -- but his absence Wednesday was surprising. Even though the Cavaliers were leading by 27 points after the third quarter and rested their starters for the final period, James Jones (eight minutes) and Kay Felder (10 minutes) ended up entering the fray ahead of McRae. It doesn't look like McRae will be in the mix for playing time even if J.R. Smith, who sat out Wednesday with a knee injury, is forced to miss multiple games.
McRae was held scoreless (0-1 FG) and collected one rebound and one steal across 10 minutes in Tuesday's 121-117 win over the Raptors. With J.R. Smith (ankle) missing back-to-back games, McRae has seen double-digit minutes in both contests, after previously playing only eight combined minutes over the Cavs' first eight games. McRae, who was a standout performer for the team in the preseason, has yet to carry over that success to the games that count, and figures to lose his spot in the rotation as soon as Smith is deemed ready to play again.
McRae went off for 19 points (7-18 FG, 5-5 FT), five assists, three steals and two rebounds across 36 minutes in Friday's 118-108 preseason loss to the Bulls. McRae has been a DFS darling this preseason, as coach Tyronn Lue's tendency to rest his key rotation players over the Cavs' five games has afforded the 25-year-old ample run. The 19-point outburst is remarkably only his third-best effort of the preseason, trailing back-to-back 20-point outings in the club's first two games. McRae looks like a roster lock at this point, but his chances of cracking the Cavs' rotation to open the regular season took a major hit after the team ended its standoff with J.R. Smith during Friday's game, signing him to a four-year, $57 million contract. With Smith set to start at shooting guard and Iman Shumpert in line to serve as his top backup, there likely won't be playing time available for McRae most nights.
McRae will start in Friday's matchup with the Bulls, Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com reports. McRae is sliding into the starting lineup for a night while Cleveland rests nine of their best players. Look for McRae to see a significant bump in minutes on Friday.
McRae will start Monday's preseason game against the Hawks, Joe Gabriele of Cavs.com reports. The Cavaliers will rest their regulars Monday, opening the door for McRae to enter the starting lineup and see increased minutes. The Tennessee product has scored 20 points in each of the Cavs' first two exhibition games and could be set for an increased role this season if the team's standoff with J.R. Smith continues.
Rank Among Leaders
Last 7 Games
|3 Year Avg||22||34||43.6||10||45.5||21||75.0||99||4.50||7.1|