LeBron praises Cavs' depth, discusses ejection vs. Heat
NBA.com Global on Nov 30, 2017 08:45 AM
FILE - CLEVELAND, OH - MAY 23: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers goes for a dunk during the game against the Boston Celtics in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Finals of the 2017 NBA Playoffs on May 23, 2017 at The Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images)
NBA.com staff report
Not even the first ejection of LeBron James' career could dampen his spirits about the state of his team.
In a video posted on Uninterrupted, the Cleveland Cavaliers' star provided a tongue-in-cheek response to his ejection last night vs. the Miami Heat. The majority of the video, though, was James praising his new Cavaliers teammates for their resiliency and teamwork as Cleveland has amassed a nine-game win streak.
"I think the reason that we won last night is because I've been a huge distraction to the team and that's why me getting ejected was best for the team. I got ejected and we still was able to win a game," James said with a smile. "But in all seriousness, I think that we're just playing really good ball right now."
The Cavs added seven new players in the offseason as the team underwent a roster overhaul. Early on, Cleveland struggled to find cohesion and got off to a 3-5 start. However, the defense has tightened up of late and James can see teamwork and trust going among the Cavs now.
"The rotations are unbelievable that the coaches are making, the gameplan they're giving us is unbelievable," James said. "The players are just getting more and more comfortable with each other. Adding seven new guys to a new team is difficult and early on, we saw that. We didn't know each other both on the floor or off the floor. The trust wasn't there but I think we've just been getting better and better and better with every road trip, every game."
In particular, James went out of his way to praise the Cavs' bench crew -- from Dwyane Wade to little-used guard Jose Calderon.
"We've been really consistent defensively with our gameplan, we've been sharing the ball offensively. Our bench has been unbelieveable -- D-Wade, Channing [Frye], Kyle [Korver], Jeff Green, Jae [Crowder], Shump [Iman Shumpert] -- everybody who's come off the bench has given us a huge spark. Our bench has been the difference in how successful we've been of late.
The Cavs have forged their turnaround despite missing forward Tristan Thompson (who has a left calf strain), guard Isaiah Thomas (recovering from a hip injury) and guard Derrick Rose (who is weighing his basketball future).
"The 'Land -- your team is back. And we don't even have double-T [Tristan Thompson] back. And we don't even have I.T. [Isaiah Thomas] back. And D-Rose is still gone. Oh, we still got more, so we look forward to the future as well."