Not surprisingly, the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers keep a close eye on one another during the regular season.
And that makes sense — as the teams have met in each of the previous three NBA Finals. So when the Warriors see LeBron James and Cavs struggling, they are as surprised as the rest of us.
Question is, should the Cavs panic over their early issues?
“To a certain extent yes. And to a certain extent, no,” Warriors forward Draymond Green said in an exclusive Q&A with USA Today.
“I don’t think anyone should be panicking 12 games in, or 13 games in. However, there are some glaring concerns with them. And at the same time, you’re missing a 30-point (per game) player (in Isaiah Thomas) on the bench who’s hurt. So my concern would be that LeBron is playing so many minutes right now (James, in his 15th season, is leading the league in minutes at 38.1 per game; it’s his highest mark since the 2010-11 season).
“Yeah, he’s super human but eventually his super human powers go away, so that would be more of my concern if I’m a Cavs fan or somebody with the Cavs or a player, is like ‘Man, he’s been playing a lot of 40 minute (nights) and it’s only Nov. 12.’ But I wouldn’t be pressing the panic button just yet. At the end of the day, they know how to win.
“They’ve got a guy who knows how to win, so I wouldn’t necessarily press the panic button. I would see certain things and I would panic about those certain things, just because … I don’t think nobody should be playing 40 minutes a game in November (James has played 40-plus minutes in six of his 14 games).”
James played at least 40 minutes in six of the Cavs’ first 14 games. Including the playoffs, he has been on the court for nearly 51,000 minutes during a 14-year career, and that’s not even counting his time with Team USA.
“But at the end of the day, if he’s doing it he’s doing it for a reason. He’s not just doing it because (he wants to),” Green said. “That’s tough. That’s tough mentally also. That would be more of my concern over them not playing well. Like, (expletive), it’s Game 13. Who cares who’s playing well? Also, you could be playing great in Game 13 and by Game 30 you could be some (terrible team).”