NICK WRIGHT: I think they want to avoid Philly in the first round. I’ll tell you that much. I think right now we’ve talked about if Philly could catch them. Indiana is only a half, or one game back. Indiana also, by the way, won the season series with Cleveland.
So if Indiana and Cleveland finish from the same record, Indiana can jump above them. Then they’re likely in a four or five match with Philly. I think they would like to avoid that.
About yesterday’s game, I know LeBron had a triple double. I think it was the worst game he’s played all year. It was the first game in over a decade he was under 25% from the field. You don’t see 5 for 21 games from LeBron. You might occasionally see 5 for 8 games from LeBron.
You never see a 5 for 21 game. The only, in my opinion, reason they won that game is because the Mavericks are not trying to win games in the fourth quarter. Like, we’ve talked about do teams throw games–
– Or the first, second, or third.
NICK WRIGHT: Well, no, no, no. In the first three quarters, the Mavericks– they have a great coach in Rick Carlisle. They put out competent lineups. And then come the fourth quarter.
The way they tank effectively is Carlisle knows what their worst lineup possible combinations are. They put them out in the fourth quarter. And what happens? They get beat in the fourth quarter 25 to 10 when the Cavs weren’t even playing that won the fourth quarter. The Mavs just had no competent offense whatsoever.
Like, yesterday, it was a bad game. And the other thing is this. LeBron said we just lost our starting point guard. Kyle Korver still hasn’t been back yet. They have played zero games, zero games, with what their playoff roster will be.
– Doesn’t that worry you at all?
NICK WRIGHT: It would if they had– if the Eastern Conference had shown any level of resistance over the last three years since LeBron was back, it would. But they’ve play nine series against the East. They’ve swept six of them. They’ve gone to five games in one, and on to six games in two. Like, even if the East is caught up a little bit, and the Cavs have regressed a little bit, to me, they’re still demonstrably– the demonstrable favorite over everyone else.
But I agree with LeBron. Like, well, I don’t– I don’t know what you expect. Are they going to be in a dogfight in the first round for the first time since he got back? Depending on who they play that’s on the board.
CHRIS CARTER: But I don’t think you agree with LeBron. You said Cleveland is going to be in the finals.
NICK WRIGHT: Absolutely.
CHRIS CARTER: LeBron didn’t say that.
NICK WRIGHT: Well, he didn’t say– he didn’t say they’re not going to be in the finals. Like, what are you– he said, I don’t know what to expect from this team in the postseason.
CHRIS CARTER: Right. But you said you knew what to expect. You said they’re in the finals though.
NICK WRIGHT: Yes, absolutely. 100%.
CHRIS CARTER: You see what I’m saying? So it’s totally different that what LeBron is saying.
NICK WRIGHT: Well, I think, sure. I mean, but LeBron last week said it doesn’t matter what seed we have. I like my chances.
CHRIS CARTER: That was before George Hill got hurt.
NICK WRIGHT: Yeah, but if George Hill were out for the year, I think I would be adjusting things as well. George is not out for the year. George Hill will be back before the postseason.
CHRIS CARTER: Right. What I’m just trying to say is that there should be a certain amount– they’re fortunate they’re in the East because that’s the only way that you wouldn’t have trepidation. If they were in the West, there’s five teams in the West that could beat them. Like, I do believe that.
Cleveland, based on the performance though– LeBron was at the Justin Timberlake concert. Him and Justin Timberlake were doing shots on stage. You could hear it in LeBron’s voice. LeBron was hoarse. So after being out all night, you got Dallas coming the next day.
This is what you’re going to see. So let’s not overreact to LeBron to that game. But as far as the Cavs, I’ve been concerned about the Cavs all year. I believe this will be the most struggle that they had in the preliminary round of the playoffs more so than any other year. So if they got Philly right now, the Philly match-up is not a bad match up for them, because Joel Embiid is out the first game.
Philly’s got home field advantage, home court advantage. Cavs are going to win the first game. So I don’t care if they have home court advantage. The Cav’s going to win game number one before Joel Embiid plays. So I don’t look at that as being a bad match up being up one.
– You don’t care if they’re in the three seed or the four seed?
NICK WRIGHT: Well, I mean, I personally–
CHRIS CARTER: Their health is the number one thing, All right? Getting all the guys back to being healthy is far more important than three, four, five, six, seven, or eight–