Shouldn’t LeBron James Be More Worried After The Cavaliers’ Blowout Loss To The Warriors?
Last night’s matchup between Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors and LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers was supposed to be a preview of the 2016 NBA Finals. After a full slate of NBA games on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the Warriors and Cavaliers were going to top things off by providing us with a look at what we can expect to see once June rolls around. At least, that was the plan. But the Warriors got off to a hot start and destroyed the Cavaliers, running away with a 132-98 win and embarrassing them on their home court. The Cavaliers very well may end up in the NBA Finals at the end of this season, but they clearly have a lot of work to do before then if they want to give the Warriors a series.
Despite what happened, though, LeBron didn’t seem all that discouraged by what took place. Yes, the Warriors outclassed the Cavs in just about every aspect of the game. Yes, the Warriors looked like a championship team, while the Cavaliers looked like an eight seed in the playoffs. And yes, the Warriors demonstrated why they’re the best team in the NBA right now. But LeBron reminded everyone that last night didn’t determine the outcome of the season—and fans shouldn’t panic too much just yet.
“I’m not going to put too much into it,” he said. “It’s just not the end of the world. It’s still a basketball game. I don’t take it that far.”
To a degree, LeBron is right. While the Cavaliers played bad (so bad!) against the Warriors on Monday night, it was only one game in the middle of January. If it were Game 1 of the NBA Finals, then the Cavs might have something to worry about. But between now and the end of the season, LeBron & Co. have time to prepare to play in the postseason. They also have time to make adjustments to their roster. And in all likelihood, the Cavaliers team that took the floor last night will not be the team that takes the floor once the playoffs start. The mentality will be totally different.
That doesn’t mean we should all just disregard what took place on Monday night, but it does mean that we shouldn’t look too deeply into it. The Cavaliers don’t want to beat the Warriors in January, they want to beat them in June. And now, they have a much better idea of what they are going to have to do in order to do it.