The Cleveland Cavaliers are quickly putting their slow start behind them. Currently riding an 11 game win streak, the Cavs have worked their way up the standing after being below the playoff belt for a few rough weeks.
But the key to their resurgence is no secret to anyone who understands the game of basketball. When you have the best player on the planet on your roster, that tends to be how things work. In fact, LeBron James is the reason they were ever relevant in the first place.
We’re used to James consistently dominating on the basketball floor, as proved by his career averages of 27.2 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 7.1 assists. This season though, he just appears to be on another level. For the first time in his career, he entered December averaging 28, 8 and 8… truly remarkable numbers for anyone, especially one at 32-years-old.
If you ask Channing Frye, though, he’ll claim that The King is not even playing at 100% engagement. Take a look at what he said to SB Nation after Saturday night after the Cavs’ dominating win over the Grizz:
“Well everyone was talking like, ‘Hey, this is not Playoff LeBron.’ Usually, LeBron gives you about 60 percent. He’s about 80 percent LeBron and it’s looking effortless so pretty scary,” Frye explained. “This is 80 percent engagement. He’s engaged on offense and defense. Tonight he didn’t have a lot of rebounds, but every night almost has a triple-double, he’s shooting the ball well, he’s seeing the game a lot better, he’s diverting to his teammates and that’s pretty scary.”
“He adjusted today,” Frye continued. “They were double-teaming from the bottom so he moved to the elbow. Once he starts adjusting then he starts getting the ball screen-and-roll. You’re seeing post-up passing LeBron, post-up scoring LeBron, shooting threes LeBron. There’s a lot of different aspects of that. So when I say 80 percent I just mean that it’s engagement every single game.”
The claim that LeBron is only playing at “80%” engagement just sounds ridiculous. He’s having one of the best seasons of his career, putting up numbers rarely seen in the game today. For most, that level of performance would well exceed 100% of anything. But for The King, Channing Frye is telling us that it’s not even all he’s got.
How much more could he possibly have left in the tank?