LeBron James says the Cleveland Cavaliers are clicking at the perfect time after recording a dominant 109-80 win over the Milwaukee Bucks last night.
Even though they've occupied the number one position in the Eastern Conference for much of the campaign, the Cavaliers' season hasn't been plain sailing as they have struggled for consistency.
The King has been vocal in his frustrations of the team throughout the year and the team's confidence and chemistry have been questioned on numerous occasions.
It seems strange to say this about a team that is now 56-22 but the Cavs have fallen into turmoil one too many times for a franchise chasing its first championship. They have had to overcome different kinds of adversity this season, with injuries and a coaching change following the firing of David Blatt being the main causes.
Cleveland, however, put on a clinic at the Bradley Center and collectively had one of their best games of the entire campaign, albeit against a disappointing Bucks team.
It must be encouraging for fans in 'The Land' to see this level of performance from their side with the playoffs fast approaching and LeBron, who put up 17 points, nine assists, and five rebounds in the win, admits he likes where they're at.
“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,” said James, via ESPN. “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.”
James took just nine shots in the game and no player had more than 12 shots as the Cavs moved the ball impressively and created great looks for each other. As a result, they had 30 assists on 41 made baskets and six players ended in double figures. They are now 6-0 when they record 30 assists or more.
The Cavaliers have resorted to isolation basketball frequently this year, but when they play like this and get everybody involved, they are difficult to beat and look like a team that could challenge the Golden State Warriors and the San Antonio Spurs for a title.
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“I mean, it’s my type of basketball,” said James. “I love when the ball is moving. I couldn’t care less about how many shots I get as long as the ball is moving and everybody is in a good rhythm and guys feel good about the offensive end. It definitely shows up on the defensive end, as well.”
J.R. Smith was the highest scorer for Cleveland with 21 points on 7-11 three-point field goals, setting a franchise record for made threes in a season with 197.
Head coach Tyronn Lue was pleased with what he saw and wants his players to carry this same approach into the postseason to make themselves a tough proposition.
“It’s all about us,” Lue said. “I think when we have the right approach coming into the game both offensively and defensively, wanting to move the ball, share the ball, I think we’re tough to beat. So I just think it’s us, mentally, having to come in with that approach.”