They are defending champions in name only. Injuries, too, have played a role in Cleveland’s fragmented, and some would say disappointing season, as 22 players have shuffled in and out of coach Tyronn Lue’s rotations and the club was forced to go long stretches without key players like Kevin Love, J.R. Smith and Kyle Korver. If it’s true that adversity builds character, the Cavs may be a lot are stronger than they appear. They are healthier than they’ve been in months, and James said that’s all that matters now. “At the end of the day, I’m not going to harp on what happened in the regular season through injuries, through bad losses, through good wins, through whatever the case may be,” he said. “We have a good club going into the postseason. That’s all you can ask for.” DISAPPOINTING SEASON INDEPENDENCE, Ohio (AP): LeBron James quickly moved past Cleveland’s disjointed regular season, an uphill, 82-game slog of injuries, roster upheaval and drama. Reflection can wait. James understands that the Cavaliers appear vulnerable, perhaps beatable, as they enter the NBA play-offs following a recent tailspin. However, he feels the grind may help the Cavs and maybe even give them an edge. “Through everything that went on with our team, we’re in a position where we can do something special still,” he said Thursday as Cleveland prepared to face Indiana in the opening round today. “We have a chance to win it all.” Why so optimistic, LeBron? Leaning against a padded wall in Cleveland’s practise facility, James smiled sheepishly. “I’ve got the answer,” he said. “I’m not giving it to you. But I’ve got the answer why I feel like we’ve got a great chance.” It’s no secret. The Cavs have a chance to win a championship because they have James, and with James, all is possible. With six straight visits to the Finals on his rÈsumÈ, James knows his way around the playoffs better than any player in the league, and maybe better than anyone in history. After all, he’s won titles with two teams, snatched a road win in 25 consecutive series and takes a 40-17 record in first-round games into this series with the Pacers, a team he’s battled in postseasons before. James doesn’t know how to be anything but confident. It’s in his DNA. But there’s genuine concern about these Cavaliers, who staggered down the stretch. They lost their final four regular-season games – one to an Atlanta team resting all its starters – and surrendered the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference to Boston. Cleveland went just 23-23 after January 10 and the Cavs have been ranked in the bottom third statistically on defence all season.
Doha: World’s top athletes will aim to dish out a spirited show when the World Athletics Championship kicks-off from Friday. For India, the event hasn’t been too fruitful as only Anju Bobby George had managed a medal in long jump at the 2003 edition of the Games in Paris. However, a lot will be expected from ace sprinter Dutee Chand and middle-distance runner Jinson Johnson this time round.Dutee had a dream outing at the World University Championship where she bagged a gold following which the IAAF had invited her to join the Indian team. Dutee will once again feature in the 100 metre event and looking at her form in the recent past, a medal could be expected from her. India had also suffered a jolt when Neeraj Chopra and Hima Das had to skip the event due to injury. While javelin thrower Neeraj is not taking part as he has been doing light training since May, having undergone an elbow surgery, Hima pulled out due to a lower back injury after being named in the initial team.In Neeraj’s absence, all eyes will be on another javelin thrower Shivpal Singh while Annu Rani will lead in the women’s category of the discipline. Meanwhile, Tejaswin Shankar has also decided to give the event a miss, which is another blow for India.In such a scenario, Asian Games gold medalist Johnson is expected to bring some smiles on the Indians’ faces. He is currently training with his coach in USA. Long jumper M Sreeshankar, who has recovered from an injury, will also try to deliver his best. In the National Open Championship last year, Sreeshankar had registered a national record after a jump of 8.11 and 8.20 metre.In the 4×400m relay and mixed relay events, Mohammad Anas, Noh Nirmal, Alex Antony, Harsh Kumar, Amoj Jacob, KS Jeevan and Dharun Ayyasamy will lead the Indian challenge. On the other hand in shot put event, Tejinderpal Singh Toor, who had clinched gold in the Asian Games, can also be considered as a medal prospect for India. dutee chandJinson JohnsonTejinderpal Singh ToorWorld Athletics Championships First Published: September 26, 2019, 9:21 PM IST Get the best of News18 delivered to your inbox – subscribe to News18 Daybreak. Follow News18.com on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Telegram, TikTok and on YouTube, and stay in the know with what’s happening in the world around you – in real time.