Jason Whitlock explains what is going to keep the Cavs from winning a NBA title this year

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Jason Whitlock offers up his opinion on the Cleveland Cavaliers going into the 2018 NBA Playoffs. Find out why Whitlock thinks 'King James' will come up short this season.

JASON WHITLOCK: I just don't think this is going to work. I know that the playoffs are about flipping a switch and going to a different year. But I just don't think you're going to overcome an 82 game regular season of not playing defense and then play enough defense in the postseason.

I just don't-- think that's too hard of a switch. I get that guys can play with better effort. But remember, the other team's are going to be playing with better effort as well. I think that the Cavaliers defensive deficiencies will catch up with them in these playoffs.

Now is that much of a bold statement? Because it may not end up with them until the finals. But I don't think they can win a title because of their defensive-- or lack of defensive efficience.

- [SIGHS] I'm just-- did they actually announce their slogan? Does every team announce a slogan? Is that like a precursor to get into the playoffs?

JASON WHITLOCK: Certain teams. It's worked for LeBron But you--

- Did they announce a slogan? Like did they vote for it amongst themselves over wine tasting?

JASON WHITLOCK: [LAUGHS] I don't have a problem with the slogan.

- I have a problem with the fact that they announced their slogan. Y'all ain't-- they're not-- they can do slogans, they can do defend the land part 2. They're not winning jack a bone. Coach.

- I think transition basketball in the East is kind of limited. Toronto's the best team in the East by record. They play in half court. DeMar DeRozan and that company, they're playing half court. Dwane Casey could be Coach of the Year. So LeBron is not going to have a problem in the East unless he faces the young 76ers, who are too young to maybe close games in a seven game series.

Then I think going into the West, that's when you have that monster transition defense. In every championship game they lost versus the Warriors, they lost that in transition. And that's where the game is going to change.

So you can't flip a switch. You can't say, "It's playoffs. Now it's time to pick it up." You've got to have that intensity every game, and especially the last 20 games, after the All-star break leading into the playoffs.

DOUG: I mean, look. I think we all see it. Right? We all know that there's a reason that there's cliches, and cliches have been repeated over time. Going gets tough, the tough do get going. And offense wins games, defense do wins championships. So none of us feel like the Cavs are a championship team.

The problem is the East! Boston is not healthy. Washington can't figure out whether they want to or don't want to play with John Wall. Nobody believes in Toronto because we saw when Toronto was puffing out their chest, they gave up 132 to the Thunder and to the Cavs in the same week. Right?

So like it-- I don't love the Cavs. I don't love the roster. I don't love the idea of a 10 man rotation playoffs. I just don't know who else in the East would beat them, Jay. That's the big problem.

JASON WHITLOCK: And so let me see if I'm hearing you correctly, Earl. You agree with Doug. No one in the East can exploit their defensive inefficiency. Let's say Philadelphia is young. But the Cavs make you play with so much confidence because it's so easy to score the basketball. Can't that perhaps get a Philadelphia over the hump against the Cavaliers?

EARL: They have no one who can defend LeBron. And when you're taking the ball out to inbound the ball instead of catching a rebound, getting a steal, and outletting for a fast break, it's going to be half court basketball. And LeBron is the best at changing the game offensively without a coach's strategy.

He's like a big Rondo. Rondo to me is when the best point guards in post-season because he can give you three or four game plans on the fly. He changes it, he builds it. LeBron has that capability. And no one out the West to me can even compete with LeBron except for Kevin Durant.

DOUG: Yeah. And then I think Houston just has too much offense otherwise. I mean, those are the two that they would match up with. So I mean, look. I look at it, and you try and figure out-- the worst thing about the 76ers-- even watch when they had a 30 point lead last week.

- Yeah.

- They had better talent. The problem is they get a 30 point lead, and, "All right. Now I'm going to get mine. Now you're going to get yours." They have no idea how to close games. This is-- it's too much because playoff basketball is just different. They are going to make-- LeBron's going to make Ben Simmons make jump shots. And he won't even take them, let alone make them, in the playoffs.

And so does Philadelphia-- if Embiid's healthy, do they have a better roster? Absolutely. But that's not going to win you playoff games. LeBron is going to win playoff games if he faces 76ers. And we've seen Toronto's act enough. They are good in the half court. They are good in the regular season. But how many times do we have to see LeBron destroy the Toronto Raptors before we go, "You know what? It's just not going to happen for you."

JASON WHITLOCK: OK, y'all have sold me on the East. But I want to-- before we go, Earl. Are you saying that Kevin Durant and Golden State is the only team that can handle LeBron in the finals? Or you think Houston can't handle LeBron?

- I don't think the Rockets can handle LeBron. LeBron-- no one's going-- who's going to defend him? Joe Johnson? James Harden? Who's going to defend him? He's going to dominate that series. And Kevin Durant-- to me, if they had a healthy team, they would get out the first round. I don't think they get out the first round.

- Whoa.

- I think pop and San Antonio comes through--

JASON WHITLOCK: We're going to get to that.

- And it just-- [LAUGHS] And it just break them down the way pop breaks down every team.

- Break them down?

- We're going to get to that. We'll get to that later in the show. He doesn't think the Warriors are getting out of the first round. I can't wait to hear this.

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