George Hill was pretty decent for the Knights. He averaged 16 points, eight assists, and four rebounds while shooting 40 percent from three. C.J. Miles was effective on the wing, averaging 12 points and five boards with a team-best 43 percent mark on three-pointers. Lou Williams chipped in 15 points and five assists off the bench. Both Robin Lopez and Taj Gibson got north of eight boards per game, but nobody got to 10.
Tyler Johnson, formerly of the Heat, led the revamped Sonics. Johnson’s counting stats were fine: 17 points, six assists, and four rebounds as a full-time point guard. But he had a shaky 48.4 effective field goal percentage, so he wasn’t efficient at all. Wes Matthews was good for 15, four, and five. Jamal Crawford contributed an extremely Jamal Crawford 11 points on nine shots per game off the bench.
Virginia Beach wasn’t great at anything, but the Sonics’ success came from elite team defense. They gave up 103.1 points per 100 possessions, third-best in the league behind the Rockets and Warriors. Lopez, Gibson, and John Henson combined for about five blocked shots per game. They were a really sturdy front line.
It’s one thing for James to play with younger players — Irving was only 22 years old when James returned to the Cavaliers. But the circumstances now are different. The Cavs are considering first- or second-year prospects who won’t be fully developed in time to compete for a title with James.
James is focused on winning rings, and he needs the players around Texas Rangers Cheap Jerseys him to do the same. It’s unrealistic to ask most first- or second-year players to contribute in any meaningful way in deep playoff runs.
James knows that. That’s why he pushed for the Cavs to trade Andrew Wiggins Sports Cheap Jerseys to Minnesota for Kevin Love and, eventually, gave his blessing on the Dion Waiters trade.