LeBron James -- Faith in Cleveland Cavaliers shaken midseason

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry right celebrates after they defeated the Houston Rockets in Game 7 of the NBA basketball Western Conference finals Monday

James, in his 15th year in the league, will break his personal record for most games in a single regular season plus postseason when he suits up for the 101st time in Thursday's Game 1 (9 p.m. ET, ABC).

JAMES' SHOT: James isn't ready to make any bold predictions about how great he might be in his eighth straight Finals.

The Golden State Warriors pose with the Western Conference trophy after defeating the Houston Rockets in Game 7 on May 28, 2018.

The Warriors looked like a completely different team without Iguodala for the final four games of the Western Conference finals, as he sat out with a bone bruise in his knee. The Warriors not only overcame a double-digit halftime deficit for the second straight game to win, but more impressively covered the spread both times after losing the previous two games by a total of seven points. The struggling ESPN's overall National Basketball Association playoff ratings were up 31% from 2017, with Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals drawing 13.305 million viewers-which marked the second-largest total for an National Basketball Association game in ESPN history. They have quickly forged their way in the history books as one of the best teams ever assembled.

A good part of that is because they got into halfcourt duels with San Antonio and Houston, but it's also because they were too willing to fall into the isolation game. The only intrigue in the series is which game Cleveland wins (I'll take Game 3) and how because the Cavs have gone backwards this year and the Warriors are still the Warriors.

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"For me as a competitor, it's fun".

"You think back five years ago when he was with Miami, they were playing the Spurs in the Finals and the Spurs were going underneath on every screen, daring him to shoot".

Curry is averaging 24.8 points on 38.5 per cent shooting from 3-point range, 6.1 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 1.8 steals over 11 playoff games, never scoring fewer than 18 points.

"There's a lot of just built-up anxiety, I guess, about this moment".

Still, Pluto says there's one guy who matters most - LeBron James.

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Stephen Curry would have scored 40-plus points a night against a Thomas, J.R. Smith, Dwyane Wade, Derrick Rose, and Jose Calderon.

James was referring to a stretch in December and January when the Cavs lost nine of 12 games.

That's in part because James keeps his body in fantastic shape with daily treatments and workouts sustaining world-class conditioning so he can play all 48 minutes if necessary. Kerr acknowledged the struggles of keeping his team motivated this season, even letting the players coach themselves in timeouts during one game.

"Draymond was on my team, and he was just like, "Look, you can't do nothing about that". "I had loved him at Arizona and was hoping that he slid to us with that pick".

He played two and a half seasons in Salt Lake City from 2007-10 and now averages 9.8 points as Cleveland's third-leading scorer. "But he is in the protocol still, so we'll see how he feels". "And then you know we come into the season and our All-Star point guard that we got from Boston [Isaiah Thomas] wasn't able to play until January".

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