LeBron's Return Has Supercharged the Cavs
*Photo via USA Today
After missing 8 games, LeBron James has returned and is playing at a high level, scoring 25+ points in his last 7 games. LeBron was out due to muscle strains in his back and knee. LeBron also noted his body has a lot of mileage and needed rest . Nobody has played more minutes than LeBron, since he has joined the NBA. LeBron listened to his body and has been rewarded.
Even before LeBron missed a chunk of games, the Cavs were struggling and so was LeBron. When LeBron was out those 8 games the team went 1-7 and desperately missed his talent and leadership. SInce returning LeBron has turned up his game and the Cavs are 6-1 and surging offensively and defensively.
Here our some telling stats from John Schuhmann of NBA.com “ The Cavs may have turned a corner defensively, having allowed just 97 points per 100 possessions over their last four games. And their offense has been ridiculous in their seven games since LeBron James' return,scoring 117 (shooting 39 percent on threes). James' usage rate is up from30.9 percent before his absence to 35.3 percent since he came back. “ Not only has LeBron and the Cavs looked better on the court, but the numbers are backing it up too.
The Cavs also have made some moves that have helped them improve as a team, such as trading for J.R. Smith, Iman Shumpert, and Timothy Mosgov. So the Cleveland roster has seen an infusion of talent, but still the main reason for this resurgence is LeBron. The aggression and focus we have seen in his last seven games is exactly what the Cavs need.
After a rough start, the off-season favorite Cavs still have a chance to make a deep playoff run. Especially in the weak Eastern Conference, expect this Cavs team to continue to improve if LeBron plays at the level we all are accustomed too.
-By Nicholas Diesing-Fay