LeBron James says he feels better than he did all season

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When LeBron James was sidelined with multiple injuries, he said he’d been hampered all season.

That was certainly the ideal explanation for his underwhelming play and the Cavaliers’ struggles. If LeBron got healthy, the narrative went, his and Cleveland’s problems would fix themselves.

How accurate was that story?

In three games since returning from injury, LeBron has averaged 33.7 points (up from 25.2) on 52.3 percent shooting (up from 48.8) and 7.7 rebounds (up from5.3) per game. His assists are down and turnovers are up, but the overall picture presents a better player.

In those three games, all on the road, the the Cavaliers have lost to the Suns and beaten the Lakers and Clippers. That’s far from perfect, but that stretch certainly beats Cleveland’s run prior.

And LeBron backs up the positive numbers with an optimistic self-assessment.

LeBron, via Jeremy Fowler of ESPN:

I’ve felt better in the last three games than I did the whole season

If that’s truly the case, that bodes well for the Cavaliers.

We need more than a three-game sample, though. LeBron laughed with Kobe Bryant through the Lakers game and played some lazy defense. The Clippers have their own problems.

But if LeBron just keeps playing better than he did earlier in the season, a lot of Cleveland’s other issues – how much the team trusts David Blatt, defense – become marginalized.