LeBum James?

When LeBron James scored 25 consecutive points during the 4th quarter and overtime against the Detroit Pistons in game 5 of the 2007 Eastern Conference finals, I told everyone, this was the greatest performance ever in the NBA playoffs.

Yes, better than Jordan's 63 in the Garden way back when. And more impressive than Magic Johnson playing center replacing Kareem Abdul Jabbar in game 6 of the 1980 NBA Finals (and oh yeah he was a rookie and won MVP.)

Many Jordan and Magic fans didn't agree with my opinion on James' performance on that mystical night at the Palace of Auburn Hills. They all agreed with one thing though, that James would be one of the greatest players to ever play on the hardwood.

Now let's take a left off memory lane and make a right back to reality road. After two games against the Boston 3 Party or the PGA Tour (Pierce, Garnett and Allen) or whatever you want to call them, James is 8 for 42 in the series.

And no, the Cavs did not add Jerome James to the playoff roster and forced him to shoot jumpers at gun point, where Talking about LeBron James, the same player who scored 25 consecutive points in Detroit against a Pistons team that was known for their defense.

OK so I know what your going to say, the Celtics had the best defense in the NBA this year. That is true, but did any defense of any kind stop Jordan from making opponents look foolish guarding him? Did double teams stop Larry Bird's lights out shooting in the post season? The answer to both of these questions is: No! Every great player plays to the occasion, and King James looked more like the Queen with his performances in games 1 and 2 against the Celtics.

If you haven't looked at either of these games or looked at a box score (or living under a rock) you would probably awake from hibernation saying: well, the Cavs and LeBron can't stop Garnett, Pierce and Allen, there is just no way! Well your sadly mistaken because the PGA Tour in this series has been rained out.

Garnett scored 28 points while Pierce and Allen where no where to be found as they combined to score 4 points (well Pierce scored the total 4 points, I wanted to include Allen just for the effort.)

The Celtics miraculously win 76-72. In Game 2, the sun started to peak out of the gray clouds and The Big 3 started to come alive again with Pierce scoring 19, Allen putting in 16 and Garnett contributing 13 points and grabbing 12 boards in a 89-73 win, but the Celtics still didn't look like the team that won 66 games this year. Bron Bron and the Cavs had a chance to take advantage of the Celtics and have the series at least tied 1-1 heading back to Cleveland, but they let that opportunity slip away.

Now I guess you're going to say this: LeBron dont have good players around him. I hate to break this to you but that is weak! Michael Jordan had Dave Corzine and Sam Vincent to share the ball with in his early career but he was still able to dominate with what he had. And yes, the rest of the Cavs players did not shoot well neither, but still if you are one of the best you have to play the role!

Everyone is not perfect, in fact we have had moments at our jobs where we didn't work to our potential, if it's being a construction worker or flipping burgers. Let's just say that your a construction worker coming into work and you have a bad day. You don't get what you want built on schedule, not at the time that you usually get your assignment finished (keep in mind I don't know anything about construction work, this is an example, so bare with me) there is still the next day and you will get it done.

But the construction worker don't just finish the job and leave a few nails missing from the house and let the whole thing crumble to the ground, he has the foundation still standing. LeBron has to be like that construction worker. Yes you had a bad game (or two) but don't let the house fall to the ground missing a few nails.

The greats in the game adjust to whatever situation it is. If your jump shot is not falling take it to the cup. If you cant go to the hole, than create your own shot or dish it off to someone else. LeBron has emerged as one of the best in the NBA, but what makes you great is performing and winning in the playoffs. Without any research I could assure you that Jordan or Bird did not have 2 back to back stinkers in the playoffs like this.

One thing to keep an eye on is this, what LeBron are we going to see? The one that dominated the Pistons in game 5 in Detroit last year and off to being on of the greatest to ever play this game. Or a one hit wonder, that only tasted the finals once and never gets back to the large stage again.

Stay tuned and continue to watch this series, even though the first two games were eye sores.

- Da Carter


Dextra said...

Well written article.