Kyle Korver says LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers are not looking past the Toronto Raptors, but they’re already thinking sweep. Korver spoke after a Game 2 blowout about the focus his teammates have this postseason and just how impressed he’s been with James’ work ethic this year.
With LeBron and Co. firing on all cylinders and James putting up 39 points on just 14 shots in Game 2, the shooting guard even talked about how big another week off between series would be if they swept Toronto.
“I know sweeps are hard to get,” Korver said, “but these guys have been doing that, and it’s like they want to sweep so they get that week [off between rounds]. Having that thought in their heads – ‘If we sweep this team, we’re going to have that time off’ – not many teams go into a playoff series thinking that. You’re just trying to win the series. But they were like, ‘Trust us.’”
Korver knows just how dire things are for Cavaliers opponents when LeBron gets going. He was 1-12 lifetime against James in Eastern Conference playoff games before he joined forces with him this season. And James has never lost a series in which his team wins the first two games.
Korver himself has quietly been an asset to the Cavaliers after he was acquired from Atlanta in January. Though he’s averaged just five points per game this postseason, but he’s helped James with his free throw technique. He’s also given us a glimpse into just how hard James works to prepare for the playoffs, telling a story about a game against Utah about a month before the regular season ended.
“He played  minutes, he played hard. And the next morning, he was on the VersaClimber when everybody else got there, in full sweat doing a massive strength and cardio workout,” Korver said.
“He was like, ‘The playoffs are coming! I’ve got to be ready! I’ve got to be able to play big minutes and play at a high level!’
“I was blown away.”
That story doesn’t exactly jive with the notion that players these days are lazy and—unlike the stars of old—searching for days off. But it does line up with how well James has done in the postseason lately.
James didn’t use the s-word on Wednesday night. In fact, he didn’t say much beyond “I’m just feeling pretty good.” But with “Playoff LeBron James” rolling like this, there seems to be little a team in the East can do, unless an individual player is also putting up similarly impressive scoring numbers somewhere out there in the Eastern Conference.