Wow. How else can you say it? Wow.
Lebron took it to a level we haven’t seen since Jordan last night, that’s the obvious part. The less palpable aspect is that what he did in Game 5 last night – 48 of his team’s 109 points, including the last 25 and 29 of the last 30 – may gave exceeded a Jordan performance, considering Lebron has absolutely, positively ZERO help.
Think about it. Lebron scored the last 25 points for his team. Twenty-five. A good game’s worth of points from 2:16 in the forth quarter to the end of double OT. After Drew Gooden hit the second of his two free throws at 2:26 in the fourth, no one else on Cleveland scored. No one.
It was 1-on-5 the rest of the way and Lebron aced it. Like it or not, it’s now tough to say he doesn’t care or that he’s not clutch.
Not clutch? Could anyone else in the world have done that last night? No. Not right now. Jordan is too old. D-Wade would have ended up bundled on the floor after getting shuffled on his 136th wild drive to the hole. Kobe? Maybe. But I’m going to say no because his team would have been down so much so early that he would have had to do it from like the third quarter. He would have been too fatigued to carry it into double OT.
And not only did Lebron play 1-on-5, but everyone knew that was the Cavs’ only option. The Pistons knew it, the coaches knew it, the fans knew it, and the announcers knew it. Steve Kerr kept bringing up the point that Detroit was leaving Eric Snow and Varejao open. Think about that. Blatantly leaving two out of five players wide open.
Hell, even the Cavs knew their only option was to let Lebron do his thing. After they grabbed a board on a Piston miss, the Cavs would sling the ball around trying to get it into Lebron’s hands as quickly as possible. He was the point guard, the shooting guard and his own outside option. Crazy.
No one on Cleveland even really tried to shoot. Actually, I found myself screaming at the T.V. when Sasha Pavlovic thought he was good in OT and went on a little run of missed layups and jumpers.
C’mon Sash. You’re horrbs.
It was amazing watching Lebron take it to another level. Fade-away threes with two guys in his grill, driving layups through a gauntlet of Pistons – nothing Detroit did was good enough.
They tried Tayshaun. They tried Tayshaun with Webber as help. They tried Tayshaun, Billups and Webber. They tried Tayshaun, Webber and Rasheed. They tried Tayshaun, Rasheed, Webber, the hot dog guy, the PA announcer, two assistant coaches and three girls from the dance team. Didn’t matter.
LeJordan was just too good. It’s crazy to think that one man could take on a whole team. It wasn’t like the Cavs were designing set plays or running a series of back-door cuts. There was little if any ball movement in their possessions in the stretch run. Just Lebron, Lebron, Lebron.
And it has to be this way for Cleveland. It’s time we all admit no one else on this team is good. Drew Gooden? He hasn’t mattered since ‘04-’05. Larry Hughes? He’s hobbling out there and only played 29 minutes of a double overtime game. Plus, let’s be honest: he’s a bust. Pavlovic? C’mon.
Eric Snow? The grossest around. He’s been gross since Philly. He’s been a secret starter in the league for years for no real reason. Coaches must really like him.
Varejao? LOL. That gimmick can board and hit layups and that’s about it. But he gets a free pass cause he looks like Carlito from WWE.
Damon Jones and Donyell Marshall? Someone tell Cleveland’s GM this isn’t NBA Live. You can’t just sign these one-skill players because they have a 79 in three and you think they can just stick a few a game from the corner. Plus I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen Donyell hit one.
The only other dece players are Gibson and Z. Gibson is quick as hell and very tight looking. Unfortunately he’s a rookie and can’t be relied on yet. Not in the playoffs, anyway. And Z is as slow any Dad you know. Just an old hairy thing who is kinda dangerous 15 feet-in. Still, he’s gotta be one of the worst starting centers in a conference finals game. Plus he’s foreign.
All that said. That rag-tag group of gimmicks, washed up vets and NBA Live specialties is one game away from the NBA Finals.
Think about that.
What if Lebron, like, wins?