The Cleveland Cavaliers' dominance in the Eastern Conference is as precarious as the status of the Golden State Warriors in the west. Much like the concern of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green over the possibility of losing the division to Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green and LaMarcus Aldridge, the threat of Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan to the reign of LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love is a cause of panic among fans. With the Toronto Raptors gaining on them, the Cleveland Cavaliers appear to be putting in double time to secure their spot. Is this the reason King James could not get enough rest this NBA season?
Unlike his counterparts in the NBA, rumors has it that the Cleveland Cavaliers are giving LeBron James less days off compared with Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade, Tim Duncan, Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and James Harden. With star players like Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love, why would James have to be in the hardwood court almost every game? Is this punishment for the drama he keeps causing in the Cleveland Cavaliers locker room? Are Iman Shumpert, JR Smith and the rest of the basketball purposefully overworking the former Miami Heat star to get back at him for his antics off the court?
"LeBron draws so much attention and he's the leader of this team, so naturally we're going to play better with him," said Love after their 123-109 loss to the Indiana Pacers. He added, "I do think we do have some good spots when we do play well without him, we just haven't been able to sustain it for long periods of time. But the luxury we do have is he is on the team." The Cleveland Cavaliers faced the Paul George squad sans James.
Although the loss was embarassing for the Cleveland Cavaliers, Tyronn Lue reiterated that the team remains a formidable contender in the Eastern Conference. He shared, "We still have momentum." Pointing out the main advantage of the Cleveland Cavaliers, the head coach noted the key to their success - the presence of LeBron James. Lue further said, "We have the best player in the world on our team. He didn't play tonight."
For his part, James appears to be getting rid of the drama once and for all. With only a handful of games left before the NBA playoffs commence, the leader of the Cleveland Cavaliers is optimistic on his team's future - an attitude he failed to project earlier this season. According to James, his chemistry with his teammates is improving and this could be the key to their ultimate dream: to win an NBA championship.
"We've had some ups and downs, but for the most part, we've had way more ups, and for our team, we're in a good place right now with a week and a half left in the regular season," James said. He added, "It's a perfect time to be clicking, and we're clicking right now, so it's perfect for our team, and everyone feels in a good rhythm offensively and defensively. We know what we want to do, and we can go out and execute that."