Thursday, May 28, 2009

Do or Die for LeBron and The Cavs.

When you come off a season in which you lost only 16 games, secured the top seed in the East, had the best record in the NBA and call the league's MVP and best player one of your own, you just don't lose. How could you?

It's time for LeBron James to shine like he's never shined before. Remember the 2007 Eastern Conference Finals against Detroit? That was nothing compared to what LeBron's performance must be if the Cavs are to pull off a 3 game winning streak against the red hot Magic to win the East and make it to the Finals.

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To beat the Magic, it appears as if it's all up to LeBron. His teammates have yet to step up to provide him with a consistent helping hand that even the all-time greats need to win championships. We've all heard the list of dynamic duos before, so I won't delve too much into that. LeBron needs his Robin, though, that much is evident.

He had it in the regular season it seemed. With the arrival of Mo Williams and the emergence of Delonte West, LeBron seemed to be getting the help he needed. Wally Szerbiak bought into his position as a role player and Zydrunas Ilgauskas continued to be the steadying force in the middle. But now, in the Eastern Conference Championship, where it has never mattered more for this team, LeBron is screaming, but nobody else is chiming in.

It goes beyond scoring though. I'm sure by now some are arguing that Mo Williams has contributed about 15-20 points each game this series and others have added around that as well. But the Cavs' needs go beyond scoring. When LeBron sits, nobody answers the call to keep the Cavs up and the Magic down. Without their fearless leader, the Cavs are nothing when stacked up against the energy the Magic have brought to this series.

Take nothing away from the Magic. They have played outstandingly. Dwight Howard has been tough to contain in the middle and the perimeter shooters for Orlando have killed the Cleveland defense more than once. They have surely benefited when LeBron sits, but who wouldn't. All series long, they have stuck to striking when they have to, at opportune times and when the game depends on it. The Cavs have failed to answer Orlando's hot streaks.

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LeBron has missed big free throws late in games, contributing to Cleveland's collapse, and has thrown away a few costly turnovers, also not helping matters. But when nobody seems to have your back, you've got to do whatever you can to make something happen. LeBron was trying to force something to happen, or will it that way. It just did not work out in Game 4, or in their other two loses it seems.

Amazing struck in Game 2 when LeBron hit one of the most ridiculous shots I've ever seen to win a playoff game. Outside of that we have seen little of the out of this world, 'what just happened?!' play from LeBron. Like all of the greats, you need that second option/threat to truly take over a game. LeBron still doesn't have it.

Written By Danny Hobrock


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