Lakers forward Ron Artest doesn't think the Cavaliers would be a playoff team without LeBron James.
"Actually I thought about that [Thursday]," Artest told CBS Sports.
"If you take LeBron off that team, no. They're not. They're nothing. Not that they're nothing, they're still human beings. But you take him off that team, no. I guess that's why they got me, to take him out of the game. [Thursday] it didn't work. They got us this year, so all we can do is move on from that and see what happens in the playoffs."
Artest, a Queensbridge native, added that his hometown Knicks need some star power.
"No disrespect to Cleveland, but we need some star power here in New York," he added. "We need some legit star power, so I can come down and beat up on 'em. We still need some star power here in New York. We need one of those big-time players to come here and get a great team, and when the Lakers play the Knicks, we beat 'em by like 40 or 50 points. It would be great hopefully one day to see a New York-L.A. championship. I don't have any power to do that, but it would be nice."
When he got hurt two years ago his team went 0-8 without him (well, he played in one of the games but did not start due to injury and played only 23 minutes). With him they were on pace for 50 wins (61% win rate). What does that tell you? Artest is right. That team would not win 30 games without Lebron. They may not even win 20. Mo Williams as your best player? What Lebron is doing is amazing. It has only been done by a handful of legends like Kareem and Russell.
Last edited by Roundball_Rock : 01-24-2010 at 12:19 AM.
They don't have much offense outside of Lebron but they have a lot of solid role players who can play good defense. Would still be a good team.
They have the #6 defense. The Bucks and Bulls have the #8 and #9 defenses, respectively and they are both below .500 and they are both more talented than the Cavs sans Lebron. Plus, you have to assume that without Lebron their defense would not be as good. In 2008 they had the #11 defense and there wasn't a dime's worth of difference between #11 and #8 (106.4 D rating vs. 106.0). What did they do without Lebron? 0-8.
Last edited by Roundball_Rock : 01-24-2010 at 12:24 AM.
He is right and isn't even being disrespectful. LeBron should take that as a semi-compliment. LeBron is one of the few players that can take a cast of borderline-nobodys (rookies, aged vet's, so so players) and make them winners. It isn't all LeBron, but he does a lot of the work and has brought that team a long way. Still, he needs some help. I say get Jamison and make a real title run.
if you give that team time to gel and a motivated shaq, i say they could contend for the 7th or 8th seed in the east. what amount of wins does that require? certainly not 50 wins. you get 35 in the east you're in the playoffs. they still play very good D and yeah they wouldnt have someone to dominate the ball in the 4th quarters, but they would be a richer man's version of this year's knicks. knicks are 1.5 games behind the 8th spot. of course they wouldnt have the best record in the game (well close 2nd), but i still think they could contend with the knicks and bulls and raptors.