Stephen Jackson on LeBron’s Cavaliers: ‘I don’t think they’ll even make the Eastern Conference Finals’
In his reaction to the Cleveland Cavaliers losing to the Los Angeles Lakers, Stephen Jackson unveils why it might be time to push the panic button in Cleveland, adding that he doesn't even believe LeBron James will propel his squad into the Eastern Conference Finals because he doesn't have a 'Robin to his Batman.' Do you agree with Jackson?
- Yeah. I think they had a great core of veterans and a great core of guys who had experience, who has been in the playoffs, and all the pieces they needed to be successful in the east. The team they have now, it's going to be even more pressure on LeBron, because you've got a whole bunch of young guys that have never been there, never been to the finals, never been deep in the playoffs.
A lot of these guys never been to the playoffs. So it's going to be interesting. It's tougher for him now than it was before the trade, but I feel like anytime you have LeBron James on the court with a basketball, you have a chance.
JENNA WOLFE: But would they have gotten there with the former team, before they made all the trades?
- I think so. I think so, because guys like Jeff Green are key guys. I said this at the beginning of the season, Jeff Green is going to be a big piece to this team. That's why they didn't trade him. They could have traded JR, they could have traded other guys that's not playing well.
But for the most part, they're putting too much pressure on LeBron is what I think. They're just throwing guys around, and add pieces, and these young guys are not experienced enough to help him going forward. I don't think they're even-- me personally, I don't think they're going to make the Eastern Conference finals.
- You don't think they're going to make the Eastern Conference finals? So you think they're either-- we don't know what the match-ups will be-- but you think someone in the first two rounds is going to get them?
- I think it's a possibility Boston or Toronto can get them this year.
- And right now, they play one of those two teams in the second round, most likely-- really, no matter what, actually. Unless they're one of the two seeds, which they won't be. So slowly but surely, the island's dwindling.
I thought, at the beginning of the year, everyone was going to feel, throughout the year, barring a LeBron James injury, yeah, the Cavs will make the finals. The question is, how can they compete in the NBA finals against Golden State, and now it would appear like Golden State or Houston? So I'm one of the last people still holding out with the faith. I won't believe a team, in the East, can beat LeBron and the Cavs until I see it.
Last time I saw it-- I just want to remind the audience-- last time we saw it, it was the Cavs the first time, and LeBron was accused of quitting in that game six-- a game where he had 27, 19, and 10, they accused him of quitting. The series before that, the last time he lost in the Eastern Conference, it was to a Magic team in the series where he averaged 39, 8, and 8, and they lost to prime Dwight. Think about that-- averaged 39, 8 and 8 in the series, they lost in six games.
Do you think this Cavs team is just that much worse than the one three years ago? Or the East is that much better? I know CC believes in the Raptors more than he has in years past. I don't buy their bench in the playoffs. When you say they're not even going to make the Eastern Conference finals, or you don't think they will, that's a hell of a statement.
- Well, let's be honest. The only reason we're even talking about Cleveland having a chance is because LeBron James.
NICK WRIGHT: Yes.
JENNA WOLFE: We all agree on that.
- Right. Any team he's on in the world, YMCA, church league, whatever team he's on, they have a chance to win it.
CRIS CARTER: Big 3.
- Big 3, whatever. He has a chance to win it. I don't think he has that Kyrie. He doesn't have that guy to give them that blow, he doesn't have the other big name player to be that Robin to the Batman. He don't have that. And that's what he's had to have success to be in the finals last couple of years. And you can see he's missing that right now.