LeBron James eyes improvements in game
By TAYLOR ROSEN
College Contributor Network
Who would've imagined the Cleveland Cavaliers, a team that had its rotation dwindle down to only seven guys during the NBA Finals, could potentially be the deepest team in the NBA heading into the 2015-16 campaign. The Cavaliers could potentially use a 10-man rotation this season, putting them neck and neck with Golden State and San Antonio as the deepest team in the NBA on paper.
The well-oiled machine that was the Cavaliers roster a season ago will be returning this campaign at full strength. With some additional firepower more than likely on its way, it should be no surprise that they are the favorites to win it all in 2016.
After coming up just two games short of the team's ultimate goal, the Cavaliers now enter the 2015-16 season as a team on a mission, with redemption being their main objective. The team's leader, LeBron James, has already set out to accomplish the initial steps of that mission. Just weeks after a disappointing loss in the NBA Finals, James is already back in the lab looking to improve every facet of his game.
Over the weekend, after James' "Trainwreck" movie premiere was held in Akron, James held a rare radio interview on Sunday afternoon, joining show hosts Ethan Skolnick and Howard Beck on SiriusXM, to talk about where he and the Cavaliers should go from here after a disappointing end to what was a successful season.
"I feel like I can be a better player," said the four-time NBA MVP.
After coming off of without a doubt, his most dominant playoff run in his career, James is still breaking down every which way he can improve his game during this offseason.
So while James is looking forward to improving his game, the rest of the NBA is hoping he was just blowing off some steam after a disappointing loss in the NBA Finals. But after witnessing James single-handedly carry the team on his back, while dismantling the Bulls and Hawks on the way to making his fifth straight NBA Finals appearance, one might wonder how exactly can this guy get any better?
"People always look at me sideways and say, well, how can you possibly get better?" James said. "I just feel like I have a lot of room to improve, either from a basketball side of things or from a leadership or mental side of things that can help me a better player. So I'm looking forward to it."
Keeping all his individual accolades aside, James is everything but content with how his season came to an end, losing to Golden State in the NBA Finals in six games.
"I just don't feel like you ever move on from losing in the Finals," James said, "because you feel like you're right there and feel like you have the opportunity to do something special. I can never get away from losing in the Finals.
I guess there's nightmares now about situations throughout the games that's always replaying in my head," James said. "It's definitely difficult, you know I'm getting better every day, but you know it takes quite a while for me to get out of the funk."
James also chimed in on how the series could've played out had the Cavaliers been at full strength. Losing two star players would most certainly sink any ship almost instantaneously, but at times throughout this season, James' ship appeared to be made of titanium. It took numerous adjustments from Warriors coach Steve Kerr, and over forty minutes a night of game action from James to slow down the one man wrecking crew. With that being said, not even James would go far enough to guarantee the Cavaliers would've won it all had they been healthy.
"If we had our two All-Stars in the lineup it gives us a better shot," James said. "Does it say we're gonna win the championship? Does not. You've still got to go out on the floor and play the game, but it definitely gives us a much better shot than we had."
With the addition of Mo Williams, the Cavaliers now have additional depth at the point guard position. Now, Matthew Dellavedova won't be asked to drop 20 in an NBA Finals game. He'll be asked to defend, which is what he does best.
By the time the regular season rolls around, if Cavaliers general manager David Griffin plays his cards right, the Cavaliers could end up having the most complete roster in the NBA. A list of names on a piece of paper don't guarantee a championship. However, if you look at the Cavaliers team from a season ago, the two things the team lacked most was point guard depth and an additional wing defender to come off of the bench and give James additional rest.
All of this noise coming not even a week after James inked a one-year, $23 million deal to return to the Cavaliers, with a player option for 2016-17. James averaged 25.3 points and 6.0 rebounds during the regular season, but his numbers took an impressive leap to 30.1 points and 11.3 rebounds per game during the playoffs.
The Cavaliers front office has to be ecstatic with these recent remarks from James. After hearing the best player in the game say he can still improve, it has to provide a sense of relief to the front office. The Cavaliers are just a couple of pieces away from all but guaranteeing themselves another trip to the NBA Finals next June.
It's now up to Griffin to finish the puzzle. If he can fill the tiny remaining holes in the Cavaliers roster by adding a slashing wing defender, they should emerge as the team to beat in the NBA once the regular season tips off in October.
Taylor Rosen is a junior at Kent State University. He spent time with The Stater covering Kent State football and basketball. Taylor is from Cleveland, and has Cleveland sports under a microscope. Follow him on Twitter: @TRosen12