CLEVELAND Teams

Dave McMenamin ESPN Staff Writer 

When a reporter suggested that LeBron James was visibly more excited and tuned in since the Cleveland Cavaliers overhauled their team at the trade deadline, James shot him down. “I don't agree with that," James said. So, what is the explanation for James' improved play of late -- averaging 30.4 points on 59.8 percent shooting, 9.8 rebounds and 12 assists in his last five games with an All-Star MVP mixed in to boot? "I just think that I re-focused myself," he said after the Cavs' loss to the Wizards. "Before the deadline happened, before the trades happened, I re-focused myself to understand that I'm the leader of this team and I have to be mentally sharp and mentally strong throughout anything. Even before the trade, I planned on us having that team for the rest of the season. That was just my mindset and you saw that in the Minnesota game. We hadn't made the trades then and in the Minnesota game, I just started to change my mindset. That's just who I am. Where I am now, I think we can be really good. Like I said, we got 20-plus games left to try to figure it out. I think if we can do that, we continue what we're on now, then we'll be OK.”

Dave McMenamin ESPN Staff Writer 

Rodney Hood said he and Kelly Oubre Jr. "know each other" so he wasn't too bent out of shape about the Washington Wizards swingman untying his sneakers during a break in game action in the second quarter. "He untied my shoes, evidently. I didn't recognize it until I took off running," Hood said. "He was doing it in a joking way." Hood added that one of the officials said he looked at the video of the infraction at halftime and assessed Washington with a delay of game warning retroactively.

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Legler breaks down revamped Cavs (2:36)
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Lue on new-look Cavs: 'It's a learning experience' (1:24)
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LeBron: 'I like the direction we're headed in' (0:59)
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Cavs bring new energy to hometown fans (0:58)
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Wizards hand new-look Cavs first loss (2:20)
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LeBron drives for two-handed flush (0:19)
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Nance throws it down after Korver's nice feed (0:20)
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LeBron gets lucky bounce on up-and-under (0:19)
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LeBron breezes past everyone for huge dunk (0:18)
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LeBron flings hook shot with foul (0:21)
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Nance lays down hammer (0:21)
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Clarkson sinks off-balanced jumper with foul (0:17)
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LeBron sprints for layup and foul (0:22)
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Nance says wearing his dad's number a 'dream come true' (0:55)
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Clarkson pokes fun at Kuzma's fur coat (0:22)
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20h

Windy: Cavs are excited for this team

ESPN NBA analyst Brian Windhorst explains why the Cavs are energized and ready for the 2nd half of the season, coming out of the All-Star break.

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20h

How does the Cavs season end?

The Next Level looks ahead to the Cavs 2nd half of the season and with the new players, how the expect the season to end for the Wine and Gold.

William Weinbaum ESPN 

47% of respondents to a Seton Hall Sports poll released Thu. said pro athletes should use their fame to comment on social issues, 42% said no & 11% had no opinion. On Fox News' Laura Ingraham's "shut up and dribble" remark re: LeBron James & Kevin Durant, 46% disapproved & 25% approved. Among those who self-identified as African-American, 69% disapproved & 12% approved of her comment.