The Cleveland Cavaliers have the oldest roster in the NBA, with an average age of 30.3 years. Early on this season, opposing teams have been running up and down the floor against the Cavs because they believe Cleveland’s ‘old legs’ won’t be able to keep up for 48 minutes.
So the Cavs have implemented a new travel plan in the hopes of getting more rest and fresher legs, and the early returns are positive.
According to ESPN, the Cavs are choosing to stay over in the city where they played and flying out the next day instead.
Most of the time, teams fly out immediately following a game.
Cleveland just wrapped up a four-game road trip and finished 3-1.
“While in years past it was customary for the Cavs to fly out to the next city on their schedule immediately following a road game, this season they are changing how they approach trips, choosing to stay over in the city where they played and flying out the next day after each leg.
“The Cavs started the trip in Houston a week ago, losing 117-113 to the Rockets on Thursday. They stayed the night, traveling to Dallas on Friday afternoon. They beat the Mavericks on Saturday, 111-104, and stayed the night, traveling to New York City on Sunday afternoon. They beat the Knicks on Monday, 104-101, traveling to Charlotte on Tuesday afternoon.”
Cavs superstar LeBron James says he immediately endorsed the travel plan when it was introduced, while head athletic trainer Steve Spiro says the team is already benefiting from more rest.
“We’re old, man,” James told ESPN. “Whenever we get a chance to stay over for the night this season, we have to do that.”
“The biggest thing for recovery is sleep,” Spiro told ESPN. “There isn’t anything better, and for these guys that are taxing their bodies through travel and through their workload on the court, and practice, and extra work or whatever, we can have all the technology in the world, but obviously a great night’s sleep plays a role into performance. There’s no doubt about it. So you have to have your finger on the pulse of it. Anytime a guy can get more rest and get in a routine, the better.”
The Cavs will look to keep the good times rolling when they host the Los Angeles Clippers tomorrow.