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The road to the playoffs was indeed a hard one for the Cavs, but James is not anxious.
Lue was first and foremost thankful to get through the regular season healthy. They were bounced from the conference finals in 2013 and 2014 by James' Miami Heat teams. Some teams in the past seem to have been able to "flip the switch" once the playoffs come, but aren't teams in a sense playing with fire if they assume they can do that?
Asked about the recent poor performance of the team, James replied, "I've got the answer". "As long as we're healthy, I think we can win. We don't fear anybody, but we don't take anyone for granted and don't feel we're better than any body else".
"The most important thing is for us to give those guys a rest", said Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue, amid reports that James has a slight calf injury and Irving has been bothered by a knee issue. The Cavs won 123-98.
It's not like the Cavaliers have a new array of troubles that they didn't have previous year, either.
Indiana's roster has undergone some changes over the last few years, with the likes of Roy Hibbert and Lance Stephenson heading elsewhere. But the Cavs still made the move of signing the enigmatic center to a two-year non-guaranteed deal in hopes of Sanders getting better for next season. This season went by fast.
For the second straight year, Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry has the most popular jersey in the National Basketball Association. "It just showed the character of this team, that we knew all along that we should have been a playoff team". However, Indiana has played Cleveland tough recently, going 9-2 against the spread in the past 11 meetings, according to the OddsShark.com NBA Database.
"Also with [Jeff] Teague being a fast guard who can get downhill, put a lot of pressure on you and get into the paint". Same thing with Milwaukee.
After having a record of just 10-14 since March 1, the Cavs have their work cut out for them. This was the same game LeBron James and Tristan Thompson were seen barking at each other in a team huddle over some issue regarding the coverage of Paul George. "We're second seed. It's not like we're eighth seed and we needed a team to win last night to back into the playoffs".
Jones did not play in the D-League as he did last season.
Cleveland, the second favorite behind Golden State at +333 on the National Basketball Association championship odds, has a lot of work to do to get back to the Finals for the third consecutive year and faces a tough path in 2017. Every team is different. The Cavs reviewed film with Lue, whose defensive scheme will be focused on slowing Pacers star Paul George, before their workout.