DETROIT — Channing Frye will make his first appearance of the season on Thursday for the Cleveland Cavaliers, starting in place of injured All-Star Kevin Love against the Detroit Pistons.
Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue announced prior to game time that the 13-year veteran will see his first action since rejoining the team in the offseason on a one-year, $2.4 million deal. The team announced earlier in the day that Love will sit out with a sore left foot, the same injury that saw him miss time in the preseason.
“We need a big, so Channing at the four,” Lue said. “He’s a bigger guy, creates some spacing on the floor as well.”
Lue said he was not sure how serious Love’s foot injury is, and that the team will know more about his availability for Saturday’s home game against Indiana after Thursday’s game.
“He tried to play through the last couple of games and it was hurting pretty bad,” Lue said.
Frye, a 39 percent shooter from 3-point range in three seasons with Cleveland, will have the green light from Lue, who says the team needs to stop passing up looks from long range.
“We’re turning down some threes and taking in-between twos,” Lue said. “I want guys to play and take the shot they’re comfortable taking, and take what the defense gives them. But we’ve passed on some shots as well. We’ve got to be willing to take those shots and knock them down.”
Lue joked that he might have to call on coaches Damon Jones and James Posey to come off the bench and start knocking down shots from beyond the arc.
Meanwhile, veteran shooters such as Kyle Korver and J.R. Smith have found it hard to get their shots in the first four games of the season. Lue says opponents are making it especially tough on Korver.
“They’re doing a good job of locking into Korver, especially out of timeouts,” Lue said. “Just locking into him and taking him out so he can’t get shots. They’re really staying attached. We’ve got to do a better job of creating some other stuff.”
One way to get Korver and Smith more looks is for Lue’s guards to penetrate and make plays. In Wednesday’s loss to Brooklyn, guards Rodney Hood, George Hill and Collin Sexton were held to a single assist among the three of them.
Lue said the guards must be more aggressive.
“Their passing comes off them being aggressive, turning the corner, getting into the paint,” Lue said. “The last couple of games, they went under on our guards’ pick-and-roll. We’ve got to be able to use a re-screen and take our shots. If not, get into the paint and create another opportunity for someone else.”