While the Cleveland Cavaliers keep missing an All-Star point guard and another key rotation player, they’re going to need LeBron James at his best, without rest.
James scored 33 points, including 12 in the final quarter, to drag the Cavaliers back from an 18-point deficit and beat the Portland Trail Blazers 105-100. James wants the Cavaliers to make it look easy as they do in Golden State, but the comparison is wrong. These are two different teams, two teams in a different place. And while the model in the Bay Area might be duplicated, right now the Cavaliers can’t match them, and so they need James doing more than he’d like to to keep up with the rest of the East.
You don’t get frustrated. You see the things you did well. You see the things you didn’t do so well. Obviously, when you’re down 18 you don’t do too many things that well. Momentum is a huge thing in sports. If you’re able to get a little momentum and able to ride that wave, you can do some special things. We caught a good wave tonight.
An when you’re trying to see the differences between the Cavaliers and who they’d like to be (the Warriors), it’s about their momentum periods. The Warriors don’t fall too far behind except for once or twice all season. And when they do get rolling, they go for the jugular, and don’t let go until it’s all finished, and there’s no one left to fight back. The Cavaliers don’t have that at the moment. Who knows, maybe it’s all about Stephen Curry?
Besides James, Kevin Love scored 18 points, Matthew Dellavedova scored 17 and Mo Williams finished with 13. This was one of those games in which the entire team worked for James to finish (14-of-24 from the field). Maybe the Cavaliers should stop trying to deny what they are and simply roll with it. And that means James accepting that even as he approaches his 31st birthday in his 13th NBA season, the team he’s playing for is completely at his whim.