Thursday, January 18, 2018
Sports

James praises Warriors' depth

OAKLAND, Calif. — Cavaliers star LeBron James is impressed at what the Warriors are bringing to the table.

"No other team in our league has the two best shooters in the league on the same team," James said of the Warriors on Friday. "No other team in our league has that many playmakers."

That came after a night in which Warriors stars Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson combined for only 20 points in Golden State's Game 1 win.

It was those other play­makers — Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala, Shaun Livingston and Leandro Barbosa— who keyed Golden State's victory, and that's a big part of what impresses James about the Warriors.

"People look at Steph and Klay, but when you add Draymond and Livingston and Iguodala, that adds playmakers," James said. "You can't just key in on guys. Those guys can all make a play for not only themselves but also for others."

The energy that so many different players bring to the floor makes it tough on Cleveland defensively, and James thinks the Cavs' six-day layoff after the Eastern Conference final didn't help.

"Us having six days off definitely wore on some guys' legs from a fatigue standpoint," James said. "It is what it is. We're in the Finals at this point. I think it was good to get that first game out of the way."

There's the idea that Cleveland's dominant 12-2 run through the Eastern Conference playoffs has been dismissed by some as the Cavs having played weaker teams than what the Western Conference has to offer. Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving was asked how different it is facing the Warriors.

"We're both in the Finals," he said. "That's all that matters."

As for James' message to his team after the loss? "You don't just throw everything away over one game," he said.

good time to be born: Newborns at the Ohio hospital where James and Curry were born will get some special gifts during the Finals. Akron-based Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. is giving care packages to parents of children born in Akron-area hospitals through June 19. James and Curry were born at Akron City Hospital. Families of the newborns will receive a set of four tires, an "Akron Born" one-piece outfit and a car seat. Summa Akron City Hospital, Cleveland Clinic Akron General and Akron Children's Hospital are helping deliver the packages.

AROUND THE LEAGUE: The Knicks introduced new coach Jeff Hornacek, who said the team needs to add pieces around forward Carmelo Anthony to contend. "Anytime you got a superstar, I think that gives you a chance, and we have that in Carmelo," Hornacek said. "It is a matter of building around him. I don't think we are that far off." Team president Phil Jackson praised Hornacek, his third coach since he took over in 2014, for his "skill and basketball knowledge on the floor. This is a coach who can teach and also has an idea of what kind of practice he wants to run and how he wants to do business.''

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