Lee Jenkins of SI speculates on the possibilities of LeBron James taking his talents south of Philadelphia to compete with the young core of the Philadelphia 76ers.

LeBron James goes up for a dunk against the Chicago Bulls. (Photo: Kamil Krzaczynski, USA TODAY Sports)

CHICAGO – This is what happens when the big one is gradual.

The Cleveland Cavaliers, riding the longest winning streak in the NBA, stormed the United Center in Chicago looking like the varsity team playing the JV.

Behind 71 points from LeBron James, Kevin Love and Dwyane Wade, the Cavs bombarded the Bulls, 113-91, sending them to their ninth consecutive loss and the Cavs to their 12th consecutive victory. The victory leaves the Cavs on the verge of tying their franchise record for more consecutive victories.

The Cavs took advantage of a team that missed too many open gazes in the paint, forced shots from the start and was overwhelmed by a talent discrepancy. No less than six Bulls players defended themselves by defending James, who admitted that Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg was almost unstoppable.

"I think (he) is as good as he always has been," he said. "What LeBron is doing right now is incredible, shooting 42 percent from the three-point line, when you have to go through the LeBron screens, it just puts you in such a difficult position, it's as good as a pbader, punctual. , pin as there has been in this game.

"If you double team with him on the post, that ball is on a rope for the open man. Your ability to get out and the transition and the ending through the contact, once again, is as good as any you've ever played … The minutes you're playing and the production you're presenting, it's amazing, then you look at it after the game and you do not even see how he's breathing with difficulty "

The effusive praise has come with the territory for James, who entered Monday night ranked third in the NBA with 28.3 points per game, fourth with 8.7 badists, and seventh in field shooting percentage at 58.4%, who had 23 points in 9 for 15 shots and 2 for 4 from the three point line, played the master, leading the Cavs to 52% shooting from the field

"I'm playing a good ball," James said Monday, "I work hard on my game. I work on my mind and my body to prepare myself to go out and play ball … Try to help us keep winning. That's what this business is about, it's about winning. I have been blessed to do so much. "

More: Rose returns to Cavs, will resume ankle treatment

More: Clippers at a crossroads with Jordan's trade perspective

More: OSU LeBron fan: The CFP committee did a "great job"

The Bulls they had five double-digit scorers, led by Kris Dunn's 15. Their 26% shooting from the three-point line (9 of 34) brought them in.

One day the Cavs received good news in the form of Derrick Rose returning to the Cavs practice facility following his self-imposed hiatus Monday's game was further proof of how deep the Cavs are when they are healthy.

Love, in particular, has affirmed himself in the Cavs offense both from beyond the goal and from the inside ior of painting. He finished with 24 on Monday, and has averaged 26.7 points in his last four games with 56% shooting.

Wade, who returned to Chicago after making a purchase with the team before the season began, had 24, his second – the highest total with the Cavs. He has had double figures in eight of his last nine since he entered the bench when the Sixth Man of the Year talk began.

"I was a little worried about leaving the bench because I never did, without saying that" I never did, I did not always do it, "Wade said Monday." This is the greatest fun I've had in a few years, simply enjoying the game. Gaining help, of course. … I'm a little uncomfortable with the sixth man's talk because I'm there with a great unit and we're all helping this team to be better. "

With Tristan Thompson and Isaiah Thomas in repair, the Cavs are about to get even deeper.

NBA photo of the day


Show bullets

Show subtitles

Last slide Next slide