Fresh off a magnificent performance at Madison Square Garden Saturday night, LeBron James believes the Cleveland Cavaliers are primed for a championship run.
James was unstoppable against the New York Knicks, pouring in 27 points, 11 rebounds, 10 assists, two blocks and a steal. His triple-double was emphatically capped off by a thunderous dunk over two defenders, and he was not surprisingly feeling quite positive after the big win and his big-time performance.
“I feel like we’re ready to make a championship run,” James said, via Jason Lloyd of Ohio.com. “I’m confident in this team and I know we can make a championship run and that’s all you can ask for.”
Interestingly, these comments come just two days after James was highly critical of his teammates in a loss against the Brooklyn Nets. He questioned their effort after that game and said the team “took a step backwards.”
By virtue of being the top dog in a kennel of lesser breeds in the Eastern Conference, the Cavaliers do have a decent shot to get back to the NBA Finals this year.
They were highly competitive against the Golden State Warriors last year for the first three games of the eventual six-game series before Stephen Curry and his teammates got into an unstoppable groove.
But anyone thinking the Cavaliers have a puncher’s chance against either the Warriors or San Antonio Spurs in the Finals this year needs to have their head examined.
Cleveland has no flow. The offense can get stagnant in a hurry, and often does.
Because the “big three” — James, Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving — have never been able to develop the necessary chemistry to play to their strengths as one unit, the Cavs are destined to either fall flat in the Finals or not even get there in the first place this season.
This is something James seems to understand but chooses to ignore.
“It is what it is with our team sometimes, the way we come out,” James said. “But I believe in what we have and I know we can win a championship with the group we have. I’m confident in my abilities to lead this group and everything else is just smoke and mirrors and don’t even matter to me.”
James does have abilities most people cannot even dream of matching. However, he’s not the natural scorer Michael Jordan was and he tends to get bogged down during the playoffs when teams can lock into what he’s doing offensively.
The Cavaliers might have a championship run in them again this year. But then again, they could just as believably get knocked out in the second round of the playoffs. Either scenario is just as plausible, given the way things have played out thus far.