LeBron James on Cavaliers: ‘We can win a championship with this roster’
With an arguably surprising flurry of activity occurring as the NBA reaches its trade deadline on Thursday afternoon, the Cleveland Cavaliers, despite arguably having some holes, made no moves. But to hear it from LeBron James, that’s all well and good. Because as James sees it, the Cavs, absent any deadline deals, nevertheless have the roster necessary to do some damage in the postseason.
“We can win a championship with this roster,” James told the Akron Beacon-Journal.
While the Cavaliers seemed to take awhile to get things running on all cylinders as the team stumbled its way through the early stages of the season — much to James’ chagrin — it appears the team is coming into its own and hitting its stride, just in time for the stretch run.
With the Washington Wizards as their first All-Star Break opponent on Friday, the Cavaliers have won 14 of 16 games heading into the All-Star Break with both Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love seemingly settling into their respective roles on Cleveland’s three-headed monster. The pre-deadline additions of J.R. Smith, Iman Shumpert and Timofey Mozgov appear to have paid dividends as well.
With all that in mind, James stresses that maintaining the health of the team is paramount to the Cavaliers legitimately chasing an NBA title this season.
“Obviously health is a huge thing. Clicking at the right time,” he said. “The team that’s clicking at the right time, is healthy at the right time, can make a huge push. I believe we can make a push to win one.
“Does it guarantee that? Of course not, we still gotta go out and play. But this roster can challenge any team out there.”
Irving, who has never been part of a playoff push, echoes James’ belief that how the team has played is all well and good, but it’s time to set sights on a bigger prize.
“I’m really excited,” he said. “We have the same amount of wins at the break that we had all last year. That was an accomplishment for me and my team, but now we have to gear up for something far bigger than ourselves, and that’s a playoff run, a championship run.”
After much hand-wringing, stumbles, rumored in-fighting, criticism of the team’s head coach that culminated in speculation that as a consequence of the preceding issues, among others, that team would never gel, it appears the Cavaliers are poised to make a run.
At least LeBron James believes that to be the case. If and only if the Cavaliers stop performing at the level the team has played at over the past month -plus will there be any legitimate reason to disagree with him.
I’m there,” James said Wednesday about is level of preparedness for the second half of the season, per Cleveland.com. “I feel good. I could feel better. I’m looking forward to the last (27 games).”
(photo credit: Mike DiNovo/USA Today Sports)