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Everyone Is Worried About the Cavs. Except the Cavs.

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Everyone Is Worried About the Cavs. Except the Cavs.
Although some opposing coaches would nominate Houston’s James Harden, Rick Carlisle of the Mavericks contends
that Cleveland’s James, at nearly 33 years old, remains the hardest singular force to game-plan against and “is still in his prime.”
“And he’s playing virtually every position on the floor for them right now,
which is pretty unprecedented if you really think about it,” Carlisle said.
Our team is going to evolve two or three more times over the course of the season — I think everyone here knows that.”
Maybe not as frightening as the way the Warriors are rolling — six wins in a row by at least 17 points to tie a league record —
but sufficiently haunting for everyone else on Cleveland’s side of the conference divide
Even if you buy James’s contention that his club’s focus isn’t nearly as shoddy as outsiders suggest, there’s no counter to the fact
that the Cavaliers will wake up Monday in Manhattan for their maiden visit of the season to Madison Square Garden ranked last in the league in defensive efficiency (112 points allowed per 100 possessions).
It’s worth remembering that Cleveland sported the same 5-7 record after 12 games in 2014-15 — James’s first season back in northern Ohio, with Irving
and Kevin Love as his wingmen — that it took onto the Mavericks’ floor on Saturday.
Here’s where: It’s a reflex reaction for pro basketball pundits, when a championship-level team starts the season as listlessly as the Cavaliers did, to suggest
that the relative dullness and lack of consequence attached to games at the front of the N. B.A.
“I don’t even know where that comes from,” James said.

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