Nick Wright reveals what LeBron’s 39-point performance against Denver signals for the rest of the East

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Reflecting on LeBron James' 39-point performance against the Denver Nuggets, Nick Wright reveals to Cris Carter and Jenna Wolfe what The King's stellar play means for the rest of the Eastern Conference contenders as the playoffs approach. Does this make the Cleveland Cavaliers the favorite out of the East?

- CC's absolutely right. Like what I think we saw last night was not necessarily NBA finals LeBron. But the reason I have not been worried about the Cavs in the East at all, is what we saw last night, is playoff LeBron. If you saw early in the game in the first half-- 22, 4 and 6 to give his team a 12 point cushion.

CRIS CARTER: Yes.

- And then in the-- then slowly kind of tries to get other players involved. Takes the foot off the gas somewhat. And says, OK, but if you need me, I'll be ready at the end. The Nuggets, because of Jokic, as we were talking about, they-- they draw it back close. They need him, and he closes at the end. That's playoff LeBron.

In order to beat the Warriors-- listen, they have beaten the Warriors. If you look at-- take last year out of it. The first two times they met in the finals. How did the Cavs get a 2-1 lead? LeBron was the only player on his team that was really above replacement level. Everything ran through him. He was giving you 40 a night.

How did they win the final three two years ago? He had 41 in back-to-back games.

CRIS CARTER: Yup.

- Then he had a 29 point triple double in the finals and played great defense, particularly at the end. In order for the Cavs to have any shot to beat the Warriors or the Rockets, what you have to get is at least three transcendent LeBron performances, and then one other game where everyone hits shots.

CRIS CARTER: The team wins the game.

- Right. I mean, that's the only way to do it. He's the only player in the league that this would be plausible with. And this is-- this is the point that I want to make about LeBron. When people are ma-- you know, how close is Kevin Durant? Like how much-- what is the gap between LeBron and everyone else?

You switch off LeBron with any other player in this league, and put them on this Cavs team, this year, with everything going on with them, they are not a playoff team. They are-- you can put-- you put Russell in there. You put Steph on there. You put KD on there. They are fighting for the eighth spot, as opposed to being a team, that I think we all believe will be in the NBA finals.