Before the Orlando Magic game, LeBron James said that he wasn’t going to answer free agent questions anymore. He said, “I think I owe it to myself, and I owe it to my teammates…I’m focusing on this season, and this is going to be a really good season for us.”
Maybe he was speaking indirectly to one teammate specifically.
Mo Williams came into the Magic game averaging 15.7 points per game through the first seven games. To that point, he looked a lot like the player he was during the post season last year. Pressing, trying to do to much. He hadn’t looked like the player he was during the regular season last year. The player that helped elevate the Cavaliers from a team that had been perennially good, to a team that won a league best 66 games a season ago.
Then LeBron publically directed his focus towards this season. One that he still believed, even at 4-3, would be a really good season for his Cavaliers. Mo Williams answered with 20 first half point against Orlando, and finished with 28, en-route to a big road win they needed to have.
In the three games since LeBron made those remarks – Orlando, Miami, Utah – Mo Williams has averaged 24.6 points per game. The Cavaliers have gone 3-0 since as a team, upped their record to 7-3, and won by an average of 7 points per game (107-100), versus an average margin of 4 (94-90) through the first seven.
Maybe you can say that Mo Williams just got hot and one has nothing to do with the other. But pro athlete or not, Mo Williams is human first. He knows what’s at stake this season. He knows he let LeBron, and the Cavaliers down a bit in the post season a year ago. He knows how critical he is to the Cavaliers success. He knows he doesn’t want to be a reason the Cavaliers fall short again. He probably doesn’t want to be a reason LeBron leaves either. I’m sure he just wants to be the All Star PG he is. A player LeBron would want to stay and play with. And now that LeBron’s done talking about it, maybe Mo can stop thinking about it too. And maybe that’s just what he needed.