LeBron James Confirms Shift into Playoff Mode, Warns NBA to Respect Cavaliers

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Despite having won nine of their last 12 games, the Cleveland Cavaliers find themselves being doubted by much of the national media, and likely some NBA teams. However, LeBron James has laid down the gauntlet when it comes to the issue of respect according to Chris Haynes of Cleveland.com, saying that teams will regret not respecting the squad that currently sports a 50-20 record.

James spoke after the team’s Tuesday practice about the perception that the team is struggling and added a warning:

“At the end of the day, we’re 9-3 in our last 12 (games). We just didn’t play how we want to play in the Utah game and in Miami, but we’re playing some good ball,” James said. “They better (respect us), or they’ll lose.”

The focus that James now has toward the postseason was also noted. He confirmed an earlier report that his unfollowing of the Cavaliers’ Twitter account was simply an attempt at getting a head start on his annual process of avoiding social media during the playoffs:

“I’m just being a little more sharper-minded as of late, just gearing toward it,” James said. “Understanding that it’s right around the corner and it’s going to be very, very challenging.”

James acknowledged that the decision to ease away from social media for the next few months came earlier than in previous seasons, though he decided to again follow the Cavs via Instagram:

“I have (changed his focus), a little bit sooner than normal, but you know I understand that it’s right around the corner and I want to start mentally preparing myself for the distance,” James said.

While not officially doing so, James did indicate that he may be joining another social media outlet, Snapchat, later this week:

Cleveland has another three-games-in-four-nights stretch on the horizon, with games at home against Milwaukee on Wednesday followed by road clashes at Brooklyn on Friday night and at New York the following evening.

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Brad Sullivan is a lead writer for Cavaliers Nation. He has spent much of life in the Cleveland, Ohio area, and has remained a Cavalier fan from their 1970 beginnings through the return of LeBron James. While that fandom was sorely tested during the Reign of Error known simply by one word, Stepien, that overall historical perspective will be part of his writing for Cavaliers Nation in the months ahead.