To be fair to Anthony, he has made adjustments to his game in an attempt to keep up with the times. He has had some very good seasons as a 3-point shooter (37.9 percent in 2012-13, 40.2 percent the following year), but some bum years, too (34.1 percent two years ago, 33.9 percent last year). He attempted 5.7 3-pointers per game this year, second-most in his career, and made just about the league average, 36.0 percent.

Front-office executive: “To me, there are two great coaches in the league, and that’s Pop (Gregg Popovich) and Rick Carlisle. That’s it. After that you have some very good coaches, guys who you would trust like Steve Kerr, Dwane Casey, Doc (Rivers), Thibs (Tom Thibodeau), I think Terry Stotts falls in that category now, Scotty Brooks. There is that tier of guys.

I like Bud (Mike Budenholzer) a lot, too, I would probably have him behind Spo. Then I would say Stevens, third in that group, and guys like Quin Snyder, Ty Lue and Billy Donovan after that. I think David Fizdale and Kenny Atkinson could be guys like that in time, and maybe Luke Walton.”

His last first-round NBA playoffs loss came in May 2012, with James playing for the Heat against the Knicks. With Cleveland completing a 106-102 victory over the Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, this became the fifth consecutive season in which his team won four consecutive first-round games; that’s never been done before. “Great coaching,” Cleveland boss Tyronn Lue said with a laugh.

It was quite obvious a sweep was very much a part of the plan for Cleveland against Indiana because Lue nearly kept James on the floor for every single minute. He came out for 85 seconds at the end of the first quarter — Lue had to call timeout to get him a break there — and then just short of two minutes at the end of the third.
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