LeBron James sat out Tuesday due to knee soreness

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports / reuters

The Cleveland Cavaliers will have to try to right the ship without their captain.

LeBron James will sit out Tuesday's game against the Atlanta Hawks due to soreness in his left knee, marking just the second missed game for James this season, though he was visibly limping in games on Thursday and Sunday.

James has played 75 percent of all Cavaliers minutes so far, so it's tough to tell just how big the drop-off will be without him. It will almost surely be immense, as the team's been 10.3 points per-100 possessions worse when he hits the bench. A potential replacement in Shawn Marion is also sidelined, meaning his slack will fall on the shoulders of names like James Jones.

In 29 games, James is averaging 25.2 points, 5.3 rebounds and 7.6 assists, shooting 48.8 percent from the floor and 36.9 percent on threes. Somehow, those robust numbers are disappointing, down in terms of efficiency and coming with an 18-12 record that's well below expectations.

Tuesday will represent a good chance for Kevin Love to get back on track with more touches, and will force Kyrie Irving to dive right back into things in his return from injury. It could also allow Dion Waiters to shoot as much as Dion Waiters would like to shoot, which should be all kinds of fun.

The focus then shifts to the severity of the knee issue. James will celebrate his 30th birthday from the bench Tuesday, though he's been remarkably durable throughout his career, never missing more than seven games in a season. The Cavs are surely hoping this is just general wear-and-tear after 12 seasons of heavy use.

LeBron James sat out Tuesday due to knee soreness
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