Jason Whitlock explains why the Cavaliers will have a better second half of the NBA season than the Warriors

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Jason Whitlock talks LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Find out why he thinks 'The Land' will have a better second half than the Golden State Warriors.

COLIN COWHERD: Whitlock, who's going to have a better second half, Warriors or The Land?

JASON WHITLOCK: Cavaliers.

- Oh, come on!

- Cavaliers. Listen, man, and listen, I go to these extremes with LeBron. When LeBron is happy and engaged, he's the greatest force perhaps in the history of sports. And again, he doesn't stay in these zones as long as I would like him to be. But I think he's surrounded with the ideal personnel. No one's going to threaten his authority over the team. He's got guys that can hit open shots that he's going to create for them.

I would not be shocked-- and I'm prepared to be embarrassed even tonight when they play the Wizards. I would not be shocked if they swept through the rest-- the second half of this season.

COLIN COWHERD: Oh, come on.

- I love this--

COLIN COWHERD: Swept.

- Swept through. I love this LeBron James. I love the personnel he's surrounded by.

COLIN COWHERD: OK.

- They will have a great second half of the season.

COLIN COWHERD: OK, first of all, they got the Lakers' fourth and fifth best players and the Utah Jazz's third best player.

- They got LeBron. Continue.

- OK. Let's just temper it. These are spare tires from a flat tire. You're happy to be getting down the road.

Here's the other thing. Golden State under Steve Kerr, it's the third straight year or fourth straight year, they've had this best second half record. They tighten the screws. This is what they do.

Steve tends to be a little ethereal. He talks about politics. He lets his guys coach. And then Steve, because he's been on a great team-- he was with MJ, the rock tour-- he tightens it up. Tightens it up. Then about March, April, they're ready to roll. Golden State's going to be a force the next 30 games.

ANNOUNCER 1: And again, I think [INAUDIBLE], I want to shift the question. Maybe instead of who will have a better second half, who is it more important to.

ANNOUNCER 2: That's funny. I got that written over here.

- See? So that's what I'm saying. See, that's why we played together. We play well.

COLIN COWHERD: Oh, yeah.

- That's why we fed off [INAUDIBLE]. You see, I got you.

- Don't look.

- Get to the wing, old man.

- Yeah.

- [INAUDIBLE]

COLIN COWHERD: I've never seen that. That was the way out there.

- I'm telling-- but here's the thing. It's more important for the Cavaliers to figure out an identity of who they're going to be, OK, going through the Eastern Conference, OK, and also identifying which roles are going to be going into the playoffs. Because this year, the Wizards, you just don't know where they're at. Milwaukee can be a threat, because they're long, they're athletic, and they can guard. Toronto still-- they still have something to prove.

So I think it's very important that we look at the Cavaliers, OK, what is my rotations going to be? Can I play big? Can I play small? How do we communicate on the court. All those things are critical, I think, in the second half of the season, these last 24 games for Cleveland to figure out.

JASON WHITLOCK: So you agree you with me.

- No, I didn't say they're going to sweep through it--

- No.

- --OK? But I agree with-- and about Steve Kerr, think about this. He played for Lenny Wilkens. He played for Pop. He played for Phil Jackson, OK? He understands when to turn it on and when to turn-- so he has a mixture of a lot of these different coaches, and he understands what buttons to push, but he allows his players-- and Eddie, I think you know this-- he allows his players to have the freedom and control, because he trusts them.

And again, when you play against Golden State, you're playing against, and people underestimate this, five to nine guys with high IQs. So you don't lose a lot when you go to your bench.

- Well, for me, it's a little flipped. I think the Cavs will have a better second half for this reason. How bad was their first half? They only could get better. They got all these new pieces. They're going to look better. When you watch the Cavs play, they're going to look faster, they're going to look more engaged, their defense is going to be better.

- Yeah.

- So that's going to have them having a better second half than the Warriors. But to me, the most-- it is more important to the Warriors this second half, because they have slipped defensively this year. And their bench isn't as good as it used to be.

So to me, it's more important in these last 24 games for them to make sure that they get their defense back on point-- because I think they're 18th right now-- get their defense back on point. And make sure that their bench players are comfortable. Because you can't lead heavy on them top guys all throughout the whole playoff season.

ANNOUNCER 1: Why are you shaking your head?

JASON WHITLOCK: Because y'all are missing the key element here in terms of what LeBron James' ultimate goal is, to catch Michael Jordan.

ANNOUNCER 2: Well, he ain't never doing that.

- No, whoa, whoa, I'm telling you, LeBron believes this, and he's right to believe this. If he beats this Golden State team, he's got a hell of a case for it. Taking out the 73 win, Golden State Warriors, when everybody gave up on him, and he became that monster after getting down. And I told everybody, don't poke the bear. And the next thing you know, LeBron took them out.

He has a chance if he takes out the Kevin Durant Golden State Warriors, that's his-- I'll drop the mic, and say, did Mike do this? 73 wins, one of the great teams of all-time with these four superstars, and I took them out. Did Mike ever do that?

COLIN COWHERD: OK, but you're forgetting something.

ANNOUNCER 2: No, he had the record and won the championship. He had the record before the 72, right?

COLIN COWHERD: OK, you're forgetting, in a month--

ANNOUNCER 2: And he won it.

ANNOUNCER 1: Yeah, he did.

COLIN COWHERD: --in a month, Cleveland's going to have another headache. Kevin Love comes back. So what happens for a month if they're rolling, and now I've got a guy that wants 17 shots a game?

- I don't think Kevin will be a headache, because--

COLIN COWHERD: Uh-oh.

- --he's going to feel re-energized, too, by what they have. And his role, I think, is going to expand in regards to his importance to be that pick and roll, that pick and pop guy. He's going to be the guy that if they need a bucket on the post, they can put in there, if they need a guy to spread the court even when they go small in matchup. I think him watching from the sideline gives him a different perspective.

And I do believe this. LeBron is no dummy. He knows how important Kevin Love is to the Cavs if they ultimately want to beat Golden State.

ANNOUNCER 2: Yeah, Kevin Love, again, he's not a guy to ruffles the feathers, you know what I mean? He comes in, even-- because he was the best player all year this year, the second best player for them this year. And people were shooting at him. And he kind of just stayed calm, didn't say anything.

So I don't think he's the type of guy that's going to come in and want-- I need my shots back. He's going to work his self back in. And I think LeBron understands that. I think his teammates understand that. And I think the coaching staff understands that.

- You get very emotional. You're really on this thing now.

- It's not an emotional thing. It's-- LeBron's resume-- he's been at this for 14, 15 years.

ANNOUNCER 1: Yeah.

- When the guy is smiling and happy, the sky's the limit.

COLIN COWHERD: I want you to keep your phone on tonight. When they trail by 13 in the third--

- The Wizards ain't got a chance. That's a 15-point game. If you didn't pay for Valentine's with my last [INAUDIBLE] pay for it tonight.