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LeBron James says in-season roster changes hurt Cavs' chances to 'build for the playoffs'

LeBron James says in-season roster changes hurt Cavs' chances to 'build for the playoffs'

 

 LeBron James and the Cavaliers haven't had a great start to the playoffs. The expectation entering the postseason was that Cleveland would flip the switch like it always does on the way to another playoff run. Instead, they got dominated by the Pacers in Game 1 and was left with some soul-searching to do.

Cleveland could never find any consistency due to trades, injuries, and a whole lot of drama throughout the season. James touched on that when he was asked about Game 1 and the team's tumultuous season.  According to James, all the in-season changes got in the way of the team's preparation leading up to the playoffs. Via ESPN:

Telling quote from LeBron James on Wednesday looking back at the season and looking smack in the face of the 0-1 deficit the Cavs are in against Indiana: "I think we spent so much time trying to figure out who we were in the regular season and getting the right lineups and guys in and out and things of that nature, we could never build for the playoffs. It was kind of like, build for the next game. So the postseason finally hit us and it hit us very well. And I think that can be the best teacher for us to know exactly what we should be ready for tonight."  

It's not wrong to say that the roster changes have led to a lack of identity from the Cavs entering the playoffs. Not only did they turn over a huge portion of the roster at the trade deadline, but they faced a lot of late-season injuries to key guys like Kevin Love. These injuries limited the minutes that the new players could get with their teammates.

That said, the Cavs should be well aware of what they want do and who they want to be by this point. The regular season is over and the playoffs aren't going to wait for them to figure things out. James is right that a tough loss like Game 1 can be a great teacher, but the Pacers are going to adapt as well. The Cavs will need to be ready for that. 

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