Los Angeles Clippers vs. Cleveland Cavaliers
Quicken Loans Arena
5:00 p.m. PST
February 5, 2015
Video of the Day
I was saying “Boourns”.
1. What’s been the reason behind the Cavaliers’ 11 game winning streak?
William Bohl, Fear the Sword, (@breakthehuddle): Health and cohesion. LeBron’s time off seemed to rejuvenate him, and Iman Shumpert is healed and contributing. Kyrie Irving is on fire, and Tristan Thompson and Shawn Marion have been their usual reliable selves, and the presence of Timofey Mozgov in the middle has given them the rim protection they were lacking. Their rotations are finally healthy and getting used to playing with one another, and the team has responded in a big way.
Seth Partnow, (@SethPartnow): Hard to parse between LeBron looking rejuvenated following some time off and the roster just making more sense with the additions of Mozgov, Smith and Shumpert (also the removal of Waiters who was toxic with this group). Some combination of all those three factors.
Jovan Buha, (@jovanbuha): LeBron Raymone James returned. It’s really that simple. The Cavs were 1-7 in his prior eight-game absence, and his return has turned around their season. Cleveland is allowing just 101.9 points per 100 possessions over that span, which is good for 13th in the league. That’s eons better than their 106.0 defensive rating over their first 38 games, which ranked 25th. LeBron + above-average defense = contender.
2. True or False: Blake Griffin is the closest thing to LeBron James in the NBA.
Bohl: False, but I like the idea being presented here, because they’re built similarly. The closest thing to LeBron James in the NBA is probably either a healthy Paul George (can be great on both ends) or Carmelo Anthony (can beat you from the post or the perimeter). Blake’s ballhandling is underrated, but since having the ball in his hands is such an important part of LeBron’s game, I’d say PG or Melo are the closest thing to him.
Partnow: I’d never even considered the comparison. I feel like Westbrook had more of the runaway train thing about him than dose Blake. Though with Blake’s improvements as a passer, I sort of see that side of the analogy.
Buha: True. In terms of talent/skill, I’d argue Kevin Durant and Anthony Davis are closer to James, as those are the three best and most complete players in the NBA. But in terms of size, strength, skill, court vision and athleticism combined, Griffin is the closest thing to LeBron. Look at them stand next to each other — they basically have the same body. It’s freaky.
3. Griffin has shown a zest for writing in The Player’s Tribune again this week. Which player would you like to hear from next?
Bohl: David West has always struck me as an extremely interesting guy — willing to speak up on social issues on Twitter, in particular. Otherwise, I’d love to know what Andrew Wiggins, a guy who is pretty reserved and shy with the media, thinks of how his rookie season is going.
Partnow: Josh Smith. He’s a legitimately misunderstood player, and it would be intriguing to hear his thought processes about why he does some of the things he does.