Tag: Cleveland Cavaliers

LeBron James

PBT Extra: Despite loss, these Finals should improve LeBron James’ legacy


Truly the first NBA superstar of the digital age, everyone has an opinion on LeBron James — and some of those people try to stand out by being contrarian for the sake of being contrarian. It’s part of the hollow debate of the Internet age. LeBron can’t be enjoyed for being LeBron — clearly the best player of his generation — rather he has to be compared to Michael Jordan or Magic Johnson or Allen Iverson, or whoever.

Which is a shame, because LeBron was nothing short of brilliant in these NBA Finals. He was historically good. He would have had my Finals MVP vote, even if he was on the losing team.

Jenna Corrado and I discuss LeBron and his legacy after these Finals in this latest PBT Extra. For any thinking person not stuck in a rigid box, these Finals should improve his legacy. Few other players in history could have carried this roster this far.


PBT Podcast: Golden State earns NBA title, but did Iguodala earn MVP?


Storylines flip quickly in an NBA Finals. Matthew Dellavedova went from being the next mayor of Cleveland — or so it seemed — to a non-entity over the course of three games. LeBron James could have, and should have, bettered his legacy in a loss. Stephen Curry went from hearing “what is wrong with his game?” to “why wasn’t he named MVP?”

The Golden State Warriors are your NBA champion and in this latest PBT Podcast, we’ve got PBT’s Kurt Helin and Brett Pollakoff, plus NBCSports’ Dominic Ridgard breaking down what how the Warriors flipped the series. Then we get into the maybe hottest topic out of the Finals: Did Andre Iguodala deserve to be MVP? We also get into what this means for the future of the Cavaliers — is Kevin Love going to stay for next season? For the long term?

Also, we briefly touch on the trade that sent Lance Stephenson to the Clippers.

Listen to the podcast below or you can listen and subscribe via iTunes.

Warriors finally play their pace in Game 6

2015 NBA Finals - Game Six
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The Cavaliers – especially LeBron James – did an incredible job dictating the pace in the NBA Finals.

For five games.

In Game 6, the Warriors finally got running.

Here’s the pace of each Finals game, per NBA.com. The horizontal black lines represent the NBA’s fastest-paced (notably the Warriors) and slowest-paced teams during the regular season.


What changed?

Mostly, I think the better team just won out in playing its preferred style. Cleveland admirably staved it off as long as possible, but the Warriors are too good to contain for too long.

I also think fatigue factored. That appeared to be an issue in Game 4, which – like Game 6 – came after only one off day. Add the effect of the series advancing another two games, and the shorthanded Cavaliers couldn’t keep up.

It’s amazing the series was played at such a slow pace on the whole. But Game 6 was a different story.

Cavaliers’ J.R. Smith says he’ll probably opt out of contract

2015 NBA Finals - Game Six

At some point, J.R. Smith will finish his Coors Light, get off his motorized wheels and attend to the business at hand.

Namely, his $6,399,750 player option.

Chris Broussard of ESPN:

In a vacuum, there’s a case either way for Smith’s option.

At one point, Cavaliers coach David Blatt called Smith a “godsend.” More recently, Smith assessed his play as “horsesh—.”

Both are apt.

Smith is erratic, capable of both getting hot from beyond the arc and destructively moping on both ends of the floor.

He might not draw $6.4 million on the open market, but this could be a good time for Smith to lock into a long-term deal. He’ll turn 30 before next season, and he’s coming off an NBA Finals run – which tends to inflate players’ values.

But the elephant in the room is LeBron James.

LeBron and Smith seemed to click after Smith’s midseason trade from the Knicks. LeBron has spoken positively of Smith numerous times, and vice versa. They have each other’s backs.

And if LeBron has your back, you can probably get a nice contract from the Cavaliers. They’d surely rather pay Smith than risk upsetting LeBron.

If it helps them talk themselves into giving Smith a lucrative long-term deal, his spot-up shooting fits well around LeBron (and Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love). Smith makes Cleveland better, and even if the Cavs let him walk, they wouldn’t have cap room anyway. Re-signing Smith is nearly entirely about how much Dan Gilbert is willing to spend on this team – and that’s about keeping LeBron happy.

In LeBron, Smith has more than enough protection to opt out.

NBA Finals Game 6 phantom cam highlights (video)

2015 NBA Finals - Game Six

One last chance to watch the most aesthetically beautiful highlights available – these featuring Andre Iguodala, Stephen Curry, LeBron James, Timofey Mozgov, Tristan Thomson and Festus Ezeli.