LeBron James says his ‘mind, body, game’ in best states ever
LeBron James obviously has had some remarkable runs in the postseason, but the way he sees it, he’s never felt better about his overall game than he does this week heading into the Cleveland Cavaliers’ showdown with the Golden State Warriors in the NBA FInals.
“I think if you put it all together, yeah,” James said, via Northeast Ohio Media Group’s Joe Vardon. “If you put everything together as far as my mind, my body, my game. If you put everything in one bottle, this is probably the best I’ve been.”
James has been forced to assume even more responsibility than usual this postseason — especially during the Eastern Conference Finals, a consequence of gimpy point guard Kyrie Irving missing two games against the Atlanta Hawks — and his teammates have marveled at his ability to run the show.
“He definitely simplifies the game for you, I’ll say that,” Cavs guard Iman Shumpert said. “He simplifies things. He’ll do a lot of the thinking for you, but you’ll naturally get to the right spot when you see the level of aggression he uses to get to spots on the floor.”
James said that it’s “great to know when your teammates appreciate what you do,” and even players not on the court recognize how much he has taken on insofar as running the offense and defense while still putting up LeBron-like numbers in both areas.
In fact, Kevin Love, injured and out since Game 4 in the team’s first-round series against the Boston Celtics, agrees with James’ assessment that he’s been at his best this postseason. Love admits James may not be at his physical best, but mentally, the Cavs leader is “ahead of where he was” in past postseasons, adding James is doing “a phenomenal job with guys going down and helping others to play better.”
“I’ve been watching a lot of playoffs the last six years, and I don’t know if he’s necessarily … I don’t know if I’ve seen him play better than this,” Love observed.
While James has been struggling from the three-point line during the playoffs, converting at a 17.6 percent clip, he nevertheless is averaging 27.6 points, 10.4 rebounds, and 8.3 assists during the Cavs’ postseason run. He pointed out this week that his struggles with his shot “hasn’t stopped me from doing what I need to do as far as helping our team.”
But it all comes down to what happens in the Finals.
“I’ve had some great playoff runs before,” James also told reporters. “I don’t know if this is the top right now. We’ll see in less than a month.”