The Cleveland Cavaliers have not been competitive on the road in their Eastern Conference Finals series against the Boston Celtics. Following a 13-point loss in Boston Wednesday night, the three-time defending conference champs have lost all three road games in this series by a combined 51 points.
Given that Cleveland has to not only win Game 6 at home Friday but come out on top in Boston in Game 7 to take the series, a lot of people are already discounting the Cavaliers.
That would be utterly foolish in every possible way. The reason? LeBron James. As good as James has been throughout a record-breaking career, he’s been even better in elimination games.
In fact, James is averaging 35.4 points, 12.3 rebounds and 9.1 assists the last seven times Cleveland has faced elimination. Even in last year’s Game 5 loss to Golden State in the NBA Finals, James went for a 41-13-8 stat line. Facing elimination in the first round against Indiana, James put up 45 points en route to helping Cleveland come out on top in Game 7.
The moral of the story is clear here. Once we have decided to write James off, he does something that reminds us he’s among the best to ever take to an NBA hardwood. We can’t expect anything different come Game 6, and if the series does ultimately go the distance.
Sure James is tired. He pretty much admitted that following a less-than-inspiring Game 5 outing in Boston Wednesday evening.