The Cleveland Cavaliers have won 12 games in a row and are now only 2.5 games back of the No. 2 seed in the east.
The turnaround began one game after LeBron James returned from a two-week absence to deal with nagging back and knee injuries. It was the first time in his career that he missed more than five-straight games.
In his first game back, the Cavs lost to the Suns on the road in a game that featured LeBron shoving coach David Blatt to keep him from getting a technical foul. But since then Cleveland is 12-0 and playing like the team we thought they’d be at the beginning of the season.
After his two-week break LeBron is averaging 28.3 points on 50.2% shooting with a defensive rating of 102 points allowed per 100 possessions. Before the break he was averaging 25.2 points on 48.8% with a defensive rating of 108.
So what did he do during that break that made such a difference?
Apparently, a whole lot of nothing.
Between December 31 and January 7, LeBron didn’t attend any Cavs games. The team said he was excused from the games because he had to avoid “continuous sitting.”
He spent part of that week rehabbing his injuries away from the team in Miami, saying the warm weather was good for his back. He told Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com that he didn’t touch a basketball during his week off, “instead engaging in rehabilitation exercises three to four times per day.”
“I was able to just refocus my mind and reboot my system,” he told ESPN’s Dave McMenamin about his two-week break after Thursday’s win over the Clippers.
LeBron has played more basketball than anyone else in the world over the past few years. He has gone to four-straight NBA Finals, and played in an Olympic Games during that period. If anyone could have used a break, it was him.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.