Mark Heisler of the Los Angeles Times might have hit on something with this article:
In it he offers simple explanation for why the Cavaliers currently own the best record in the NBA.
The Cavaliers yearned for Rasheed Wallace, but Boston grabbed him before they knew what hit them, along with Marquis Daniels and Shelden Williams.It's a basic premise and if trying harder is all that's necessary, some credit has to go to Cavs coach Mike Brown as well as the players themselves. They sniff something here - possible championship and they are playing with that goal in mind.
Meanwhile, the Lakers effectively added a 7-footer with Andrew Bynum going from last postseason's 6.3 points and 3.7 rebounds a game to 15.4 and 8.4.
That leaves the Cavaliers as the humble little team . . . that's still kicking them around, having swept the Lakers and zoomed past the Celtics, who led them by 1 1/2 games on Christmas and trailed them by 3 1/2 before Saturday.
There's a simple reason, aside from the presence of one man, er, superman:
The Cavaliers play harder.
There's a division title to be won, then a conference, then a league, and then free agency. LeBron James has his priorities in order. He's a big picture guy, which makes him unique among young superstars, who mainly live for the moment.The entire analysis is spot on with respect to LeBron and his play this year. There was a reason games between the 76ers and Celtics, Celtics and Lakers were hyped in the early 80s. Yes, the was Bird and Magic, but there was also Dr. J and Bird. Anytime those combination of players faced off, fun and fireworks ensued.
But in the process of going after those team-oriented goals, LeBron is taking great pleasure in going after Kobe Bryant and Dwyane Wade along the way.
Those are his only real peers, the only players who challenge him and push him to the limit, and the only players involved in the conversation whenever there's a debate about the NBA's best player.