Central Notes: LeBron, Prince, Knicks

It was obvious to Frank Isola of the Daily News that LeBron James wasn’t being entirely honest when he announced his return to Cleveland in July. “I’m not promising a championship,” James wrote in Sports Illustrated. “I know how hard that is to deliver. We’re not ready right now. No way. Of course, I want to win next year, but I’m realistic. It will be a long process, much longer than it was in 2010.”  Now, however, it’s clear that the Cavs are gunning to win it all.  Here’s more from the Central Division..

  • Some have speculated that Tayshaun Prince would ask the Pistons for a buyout, but coach Stan Van Gundy doesn’t see that happening, as Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press writes.  “I don’t think it’s a case of that,” Van Gundy said. “You guys can talk to him. I think what happened is, quite honestly, he expected one thing and it didn’t happen. It takes a little bit to adjust, but we talked today and I think he’s ready to go and will be a big help to us down the stretch.”
  • If LeBron were ever to leave the Cavs for the Knicks, it would be to team up with Carmelo Anthony and not because he wants to play in the Garden, Marc Berman of the New York Post writes.  James once again professed his love for MSG as the Cavs came to town to take on the Knicks this weekend.
  • When the Knicks traded J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert to the Cavaliers, the idea was addition by subtraction, but they have become vital cogs for the title-contending Cavs, Andrew Beaton of the Wall Street Journal writes.  “Both of those guys have come in with such great attitudes and given us such great play,” Cleveland coach David Blatt said on Saturday.  Still, Beaton writes that it’s not clear if the duo could have found that same success in New York as they might have needed a change of scenery.
  • Smith is silencing critics with his play with the Cavs, Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders writes.

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