Is King James better than ever?
"If you put it all together, yeah," the Cleveland Cavaliers star told reporters this week. "As far as my mind, my body, my game, you put everything in one bottle, it's probably the best I've ever been."
Cleveland Cavaliers defeated Boston Celtics 4-0, Chicago Bulls 4-2 and Atlanta Hawks 4-0.
They are playing without Kevin Love and without 100 percent ready Kyrie Irving.
And everybody underestimated David Blatt because he is a rookie coach. Are you sure that he is a rookie? He has already won the European Championship with Russia and Euroleague with Maccabi Tel-Aviv as an underdog. He is coaching the best player in the world, and he is under more pressure than any other coach in the league.
Who can stop LeBron James?
“It’s not one person’s job to stop LeBron,” Green said. “If we’re going to send any one person on our team to stop LeBron, we’ll probably lose. It’ll be a complete team effort. And as long as we approach it that way, I think we can do it.”
LeBron has a great challenge that he hasn't had before. He is without Kevin Love, and he will play for just the second time without Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in the NBA Finals.
LeBron is shooting only 17.6 % three points in the playoff. And he has only 42.8 % from the field. But, who cares about percentages? I don't care. And LeBron James probably doesn't care either, because he just defeated everyone on the Eastern Conference, and he is playing in the NBA Finals. Who cares about the percentage from the field?
They can't stop him. Nobody can defend him in the league. He will play against Barnes and Iguodala when he has a ball outside, but he can beat them because he is faster, and he is stronger than both of them.
James against Golden State Warriors, Feb. 26 game in Cleveland that the Cavaliers won 110-99. James totaled 42 points, 11 rebounds and five assists. Here is a breakup against three defenders:
- against Harrison Barnes, 3/5 (10 points)
- against Andre Iguodala 7/13 (21 points)
- against Draymond Green 2/2 (6 points)
Draymond Green will defend the King on the post. Everyone knows that. LeBron can use the fadeaway jumper or fake moves against Green. He is more skilled than him, and he will find a way to score when the time comes to score. But, wait a minute. Why are we talking so much about scoring?
“I didn't want to be Michael or Magic,” says LeBron James. “I wanted to be Allen Iverson.”.
LeBron James is the new Magic Johnson. He makes his teammates better. JR Smith and Imani Shumpert played for New York Knicks just a few months ago. Matthew Dellavedova is playing the best basketball in his career and nobody counted on him before the playoff.
Tristan Thompson and Timofey Mozgov understand their value in the Cavs roster. They are playing from pick n roll and they are scoring after offensive rebounds.
Even James Jones has his value in this team. And Blatt can use Shawn Marion and Mike Miller against the Warriors.
Against the Hawks, LeBron almost averaged a triple-double at 30.3 points, 11 rebounds and 9.3 assists, becoming the first player in NBA history to average at least 30 points, 11 rebounds and 9 assists in a series, according to Elias Sports Bureau.
How can the Cavs defeat the Warriors?
Kyrie Irving is one of the keys in this series. He must play defense against Curry and offense against Curry. Is he capable of doing that consistently?
Uncle Drew should overtake one game against Golden State Warriors. He didn’t score more than 30 points in his first playoff appearance, but he will have the motivation because Curry will score over him again, again and again. He will either be on fire or be/get burnt against Curry.
Shumpert must lock down Klay Thompson. The Warriors are far weaker when he is not playing well. Dellavedova will try to stop Stephen Curry, and he can't stop Stephen Curry. Cavaliers should understand that Curry will score his 30 points, but they must defend other players.
Tristam Thompson has the size and strength for Draymond Green. He can stop him from the post, but Green has an advantage outside.
The key of the games is in LeBron James’ hands. If he connects his teammates and if he plays with patience against defenders, Cleveland can win against Golden State. The first two games are very important. If the Cavs win one, they will get a lot of confidence, and they can attack the Warriors but only with a patient game.
We can expect a little bit slower tempo from the Cavs because LeBron James will play until he can be completely sure that he can score from isolation or with assists for his teammates.
This is the NBA Finals and only winning matters, not percentages. If LeBron wins against the Warriors, he will be one step closer to the greatness, and he will became one of the best players who have ever played basketball.
It will become easier if the Cavs win on the road, but the Warriors have lost just three games in Oracle Arena.
LeBron must play better than ever if he wants to beat Stephen Curry in the NBA Finals. I believe that he learned from the mistakes against the Spurs, and I know he is experienced enough to take the game on the highest level.
Fadeaway Predictions by Alonzo: Cavs in 7