Cleveland Cavaliers coach David Blatt has insisted that while he expects LeBron James to lead his team, the responsibility is not just on his shoulders.
James is no stranger to the post-season given that this will be his 10th appearance in 12 years in the league, while the likes of Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love will be getting their first taste of playoff basketball ever.
With the Boston Celtics in their way in the first round, Blatt is adamant that the responsibility of getting the Cavs to advance is not solely on James’ shoulders and wants the rest of the team to stand up and be counted to support him.
“I think that mentally and emotionally he’ll lead the way,” Blatt said on Friday, according to ESPN.
“And certainly on the court his example is going to be felt and it’s going to be followed. But this all can’t be on LeBron. This is a team and a team effort and everyone here has to do his part. The good news is he’s a guy that’s done it, been there and led teams to the ultimate. He’s certainly a guy that the other guys can look towards.”
The two-time NBA champion will certainly be the focus of the team moving forward, as ultimately he returned to Cleveland last summer in order to deliver a championship to the city after he failed in his first stint.
The regular season didn’t pass without issues, particularly with Love, but the Cavs have seemingly found their way and are looking like the threat that many expected them to be prior to the season starting.
The additions of Timofey Mozgov, JR Smith and Iman Shumpert certainly boosted their depth and strengthened in areas that needed bolstering, and so they are well equipped to go all the way this year.
While Boston are unlikely to represent a genuine threat to their chances over the course of a seven-game series if it goes that far, a potential semi-finals encounter with the Chicago Bulls will certainly test Blatt and his men.