This week’s Cleveland Cavaliers controversy centers on the question of whether LeBron James or David Blatt is calling the plays. But on a more meaningful and less overblown note, one of the biggest overarching questions when James joined the Cavs — whether he could coexist, seems like it’s in a good place right now.
“He’s grown every single day,” James said. “Each month has been a learning experience for him and he’s gotten more serious about the game, understanding what this moment can be for himself, for us as a team.”
Without question, Irving enjoys having James as a teammate, calling it “one of the greatest experiences in my life. … The game is fun, and I just love playing with him.”
There’s a nice balance between the two right now. Irving and James both have the ball 6.2 minutes per game and nearly the same touches per game (81.9 for James, 80.9 for Irving), according to NBA.com/stats. The Cavs are excellent offensively with James and Irving on the court together, scoring 113.1 points per 100 possessions. Of course, as any opposing coach or player will say, that’s what happens when No. 23 is on your team.
“Every game presents different challenges and however the game presents itself that night, we decide who’s going to be the lead assist guy and who’s going to be the assist guy,” James said. “We have that type of chemistry right now where we’re able to play off one another.”
Said Irving: “I know that I can look to someone else who can go get it and he can look at me and I can go get it too. And we have other guys on our team who can bring it.”
As the season has progressed, the Cavs have steadily figured out just about everything they needed to figure out at the beginning of the season, but this issue was the most important one. The Cavs locked Irving up to a five-year extension that kicks in next season, and obviously plan on James being around for the rest of his career. The two superstars need to be on the same page, and more and more, it’s looking like the are.