LeBron James takes subtle jab at Kyrie Irving by praising Isaiah Thomas

Cleveland Cavaliers v New York Knicks

The Cleveland Cavaliers are finding life difficult without point guard Kyrie Irving following his departure to the Boston Celtics in the summer.

Irving is currently playing some of the best basketball of his career in Beantown and has been a huge reason behind their 13-game winning streak that sees them sitting pretty at the top of the Eastern Conference.

Without Kyrie by his side, LeBron James has had to carry the load offensively for the struggling Cavaliers so far this season and is already overexerting himself more than he would've expected so early in the campaign.

The Cavs reached .500 with a comeback win against the New York Knicks on Monday where King James almost tallied a triple-double by posting 23 points, nine rebounds and 12 assists.

But the main reason why the team has been over-reliant on the four-time MVP is that the man acquired to replace Irving has yet to take the floor.

Isaiah Thomas is not expected to make his debut for Cleveland until December at the earliest as he recovers from a hip injury that has kept him out since May.

LeBron finds himself carrying the offence almost single-handedly on a nightly basis and can't wait for IT to get back to full health to help him carry the load.

Cleveland Cavaliers v New York Knicks

"It's been a while since I've had that clear-cut guy who can get guys involved but also score at the same time," James told Howard Beck of Bleacher Report Magazine. "But it's fine. It's something that our team will make an adjustment to.

"I look forward to when IT returns, whenever that happens, to give me a break here and there, where I know he can run the offence and control a quarter or two, or a game if need be."

James' comments can also easily be construed as a dig at former teammate Irving as he was usually criticised for not getting other players involved during his time in Ohio.

Upon joining the Celtics, 'Uncle Drew' said he was looking forward to finally becoming a "complete point guard" and claimed that he was asked to play iso by the Cavs coaching staff.

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There is almost always a hidden meaning behind LeBron's comments and there appears to be a subtle jab at Irving on this occasion but there's no doubt that he can use the help.

In his 15th year, LBJ is leading the league in minutes, which is not ideal for a player who is aged 32 and has reached seven straight finals.

But the three-time champion is certainly delivering and taking responsibility as he's putting up career highs in assists (8.8) and field-goal percentage (58.6) while also racking up 28.1 points and 7.6 rebounds.

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