LeBron James told Dwyane Wade, but not Cavaliers teammates, his secret motivation


LeBron James has a secret motivation.

I’m a little ashamed to admit it, but I’m very intrigued.

I don’t have much rooting interest in the NBA Finals other than I picked the Warriors and I’d rather be right than wrong. But this is pulling me the other direction. Part of me wants the Cavaliers to win so LeBron reveals his secret motivation.

Maybe someone else could spill the beans, though?

Sam Amick of USA Today:

The funny thing, though, is that even James’ teammates, coaches or team executives don’t know what his secret motivation is. It’s become a bit of a joke inside their locker room, a brilliant way to keep the mood light and fear-free when his teammates keep asking him on a loop, “Is it me? Am I your secret motivation. It’s me, isn’t it?”

LeBron on Dwyane Wade, via ASAP Sports:

And he tried to get the secret motivation out of me, and I didn’t give it to him either, even though I told him.  But he won’t tell you guys, though.  He won’t tell you all until hopefully after this is all over.

LeBron didn’t give it to Wade, but he told him? Did LeBron misspeak or is that a clue? Is it a physical object?

And should we read anything into the fact he told Wade but not the Cavaliers? Are they involved?

The only answer I can give definitively is that I’m way too invested in finding LeBron’s secret motivation. It’ll probably be something corny, anyway.

Golden State vs. Cleveland NBA Finals Game 4 preview: Will Warriors finally play with desperation?


CLEVELAND — Led by LeBron James, the Cavaliers have played all three games of this NBA Finals as if it were a Game 7. They have given it everything — to the point Matthew Dellavedova had to be taken to the hospital after Game 3 due to exhaustion.

Golden State, on the other hand… they are still playing like this is the Western Conference first round. They are not getting to the loose balls, they are not close to outworking the Cavs.

If that doesn’t change Thursday night, Golden State will be down 3-1 to the Cavaliers with the questions of when, not if, they fall.

Here are five things to watch as we head into what is a must-win for the Warriors.

1) Will we see the Stephen Curry from the fourth quarter of Game 3 again? Since the opening tip of Game 1, the Cleveland Cavaliers have played with the energy of a desperate team. Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors largely have not. They have tried to finesse a game being played down in the muck — their pin-downs screens to free up shooters, their dribble hand-offs, have not worked, and they have just looked confused. The Cavaliers have ground any flow, any rhythm out of Warriors.

But in the fourth quarter of Game 3 we finally saw Curry the MVP. Golden State ran him off multiple off-ball picks to create space, they let him run the pick-and-roll with David Lee, and all of it got Curry some looks he felt comfortable enough to knock down. Curry was 5-of-8 from three and had 17 fourth quarter points, and while some of those came with a high degree of difficulty, he was hitting them like he did in the regular season. Golden State believes it has something to build on. If it can replicate some of that, if Curry can get going again, the Warriors will be dangerous.

2) Will LeBron James continue to control the pace? This series has averaged 93.7 possessions per game — seven fewer than the Warriors averaged during the regular season. It is part of the grind that has killed the rhythm of the Warriors’ offense. LeBron James is being patient on offense, working deep into the shot clock and is slowing everything down. Combine that with Tristan Thompson’s offensive rebounding that forces the Warriors to gang rebound rather than leak out, plus just good transition defense with Cavs players getting back, and the Cavaliers have taken away the easy transition buckets on which the Warriors thrive. Golden State will be looking to pick up the pace, but if LeBron and company can continue to control the tempo, it’s advantage Cleveland.

3) Just how tired is Matthew Dellavedova? LeBron? Cleveland’s cult hero and little ball of energy Matthew Dellavedova had to be taken to the hospital and given IVs of fluid after Game 3 due to fatigue. That just adds to the legend of Delly — he gave everything he could, diving on the floor for loose balls until the very end. But that kind of fatigue catches up with a guy. Can he keep chasing Curry off picks for 30 plus minutes and stay in Curry’s jersey as he has? Or is Curry going to find a little space?

Along those same lines, LeBron has admitted his legs have been tired at points. Can he keep playing virtually the entire game, shouldering the load of the entire Cavaliers offense, as he has brilliantly through three games?

4) Does David Lee give Golden State some scoring up front? On offense, Draymond Green and Harrison Barnes have been nonexistent — they are 9-of-35 (25.7 percent) over the last two games, and that includes 1-of-10 on threes. Andrew Bogut has floated through games but only impacted them in spots on offense. All through the season when teams loaded up on Curry and Klay Thompson, the front line of the Warriors made teams pay. Cleveland has not be charged a dime. Well, at least until David Lee got minutes late in the game Tuesday, and his threat helped open things up for Curry. Lee will get run again, but he is a defensive liability, and his conditioning is not going to let him play 30+ minutes a night. The Warriors still need Green or Barnes to show up on the offensive end.

5) Who steps up for Cleveland? Every game it’s someone, who will it be this time around? Dellavedova again? Tristan Thompson? Timofey Mozgov? Is it time for the J.R. Smith game? LeBron needs one other guy to step up, and he’s gotten it every game. Who is it this time?

PBT Extra: Can Golden State even up NBA Finals on the road in Cleveland?


Through three games, the Cleveland Cavaliers have been the better team in the NBA Finals. Barely, every game has been close, but their defense has stymied a powerhouse offense and LeBron James has controlled the tempo, all of that has been just enough to have a 2-1 series lead.

Win Game 4 and the Cavaliers are in total control. But if Golden State comes back and takes Game 4 they will head home with a tied series and newfound confidence.

Jenna Corrado asks for my Game 4 prediction, and since I’m stubborn and picked the Warriors to win the series you can guess which team I took. But it’s not with much confidence.

Lie Witness News: What do you think of LeBron James changing his name to Michael Jordan?


In this delightful Jimmy Kimmel Show segment, Warriors are fans are asked questions based on completely fake premises.

Questions like: What do you think of LeBron James changing his name to Michael Jordan?

It’s a lot of fun until Rev. Jesse Jackson proves he’s too smart for this BS.

Iman Shumpert says he’ll play Game 4 despite shoulder injury

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Iman Shumpert crashed into Draymond Green’s screen in Game 3, left the court area and returned about a quarter later.

“I don’t know a lot of guys that come back in the game,” David Blatt said postgame.

The Cavaliers coach added Shumpert was in pain and would undergo further examination.

Blatt today, via ASAP Sports:

Good news on Shump’s shoulder.  He had an MRI, he was examined and evaluated by our medical staff.  He has a bruised shoulder and it’s painful, but fortunately no serious damage, and that’s really, really good news.

Shumpert, via ASAP Sports:

I mean, it would take a lot for me not to play.  It’s going to take a lot of people to tell me not to go.  It’s going to take some structural damage for me to do that.  If I’m able to push through it, I’ll push through it.

Generally, the Cavaliers can’t afford to lose any more depth. They’re already using an extremely short rotation, which could help the Warriors as this series progresses.

More specifically, Shumpert could be pivotal in Golden State’s defense of Stephen Curry.

Matthew Dellavedova has done an excellent job on the MVP, and if that continues, great. Dellavedova can stick on Curry for nearly the entire game. But I’m still not convinced that’s sustainable, especially as Curry appeared to find his rhythm late in Game 3.

Shumpert seemed to be the Cavaliers’ best chance on Curry entering the series, and they could still turn to him more often for that job – at least if he’s healthy enough.