Dave McMenamin of ESPN.com passed along comments from the 31-year-old forward, who made just five of his 18 shots in Monday's loss to the Detroit Pistons. He's shooting just 47 percent from the field in February, which would be a season low, but he stated it's not a health issue as opposed to last year.
"It's how my body was feeling," James said. "Last year I was banged up. It's not a mindset, it's just reality. This year I feel 10 times better than I did last year. So that's the mindset."
Yet, he added: "I feel great as far as life and getting an opportunity to wake up, but as far as me feeling like a 23-year old, those days are passed."
Cleveland has endured a hectic campaign, including the firing of head coach David Blatt and the promotion of Tyronn Lue into the role. It still sits atop the Eastern Conference with a 40-15 record despite the occasional turmoil.
If the Cavs can enter the playoffs healthy, they will be the team to beat in the East. If they can live up to that billing, there's a strong chance the Warriors would be the team waiting in the Finals. The San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder will attempt to derail those plans, of course.
Golden State is making a serious charge toward the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls' league-record 72 wins with a 50-5 mark so far. James praised the reigning champions for their success, but he made it clear the playoffs are the most important thing in the end, per McMenamin:
There's so much great basketball being played, and I understand that those guys are the cream of the crop. They're the defending champions, and they've continued to get better as they were from last year. But they're not going to be the only team that enters the playoff pool. You can be 82-0, man, once the playoffs start, everyone's 0-0. Let's get back to the beginning. It's messed up, but that's what happens. And hopefully you've built enough chemistry, which it seems like they have, and enough out on the court where you can take that on to the next phase, but regular season record-wise is great for the record books, but it means nothing for the postseason.
If the Cavaliers and Warriors do face off for the title, James will need to play some of the best basketball of his career to bring the championship to Cleveland. The fact his body feels good at this stage of the season is a positive sign.
That said, the Cavs will want to wrap up the top seed in the East as quickly as possible so James, along with Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love, can get some extra rest before the postseason.