Tuesday December 30th, 2014

Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James has been ruled out for Tuesday's game against the Atlanta Hawks due to a sore left knee.

According to Ethan J. Skolnick of Bleacher Report, James' absence is related to his jumping into the crowd during the Christmas Day 101-91 loss to the Heat in Miami.

Tuesday is also James' 30th birthday. In his 12th season, James is second in the league in scoring with 25.2 points per game. His assist totals are up to 7.6 per game from 6.4 last season, but his rebound totals are down to 5.3 from 6.9.

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The Cavaliers are 18-12, fifth in the Eastern Conference entering Tuesday night. Earlier this week, reports surfaced of a disconnect between Cavaliers players and first-year coach David Blatt. After a successful overseas coaching career, Blatt was hired in June, before James decided to return to Cleveland. According to ESPN's Brian Windhorst and Marc Stein, the Cavaliers' "perceived lack of effort" is "raising the volume of questions about just how much the locker room is listening to [Blatt]."

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Before tip-off on Tuesday, Blatt addressed the reports.

James also expressed frustration following the Cavaliers' 103-80 loss to the Detroit Pistons on Sunday, saying the Cleveland is "not a very good team."

As far as on the court, we're still trying to find our way as well,” James said after the game, according to Cleveland.com. “But right now, we're just not very good in every aspect of the game that we need to be to compete every night."

Shawn Marion was also ruled out for Tuesday's game.

Mike Fiammetta

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