LeBron James and his Cleveland Cavaliers are down 0-2 in the Eastern Conference finals after dropping Tuesday night’s game to the Boston Celtics, 107-94. If you’re a fan of the NBA or sports in general this is exactly what you want.
First things first, no one wants Boston to win this series outside of the fans from Boston, and the fans who fall in the MJ corner of the Jordan-LeBron debate along with the lonely handful of fans in the other corner that think Kobe Bryant got skipped over in the debate. Boston’s 2-0 series lead is fueling a fire. The fire every sports fan prays to see from their favorite player and fears to witness against their favorite team. The fire that ignited LeBron to score 21 first quarter points on 8 of 13 shooting from the field, 4 of 7 from the three-point line, tying his playoff career high for points in a single quarter.
LeBron finished with 42 points, 10 rebounds, and 12 assists.
That line is the standard for LeBron these days. The Cavaliers need every bit of LeBron, per usual, but especially this postseason with a rotation so thin you’d mistake them for a high school team with half its players ineligible because of bad grades. The aforementioned line should be good enough for the Cavs to win and for fans to marvel at, but it’s not. It’s the sad but honest truth. The 40-15-12 lines only have fans asking for more because a 21-point first quarter convinces us that there’s more to WITNESS.
The farther the Celtics push the Cavs to the brink, the deeper LeBron has to dig to discover new heights.
Boston can take credit for discovering the monster LeBron currently is. In 2012, in a decisive Game 6 in Boston, LeBron went for 45 points, 15 rebounds, and five assists on 19 of 26 shooting from the field which was his greatest performance to date. He’s won three NBA Championships since. Think of that as LeBron Volume 1. The 2018 Celtics injury plagued team is somehow beating the Cavs without a star and a bunch of kids who attended LeBron’s camp growing up. They could go down as the unlikeliest NBA finals team ever or the team that gives us the greatest LeBron game ever played.
LeBron might actually need to drop numbers we’ve never seen from him before to win this series. His career-high in points in 61 from a game on March 3, 2014 against the Charlotte Hornets. His career-high in rebounds is 19 against the same Hornets franchise on January 11, 2008. His career-high assists is 19 from a game earlier this year against the Atlanta Hawks on February 9, 2018. Any of those career-highs could get broken in this series against Boston or have to be if the Cavs want to make this a series.
The Celtics have a handful of players to throw at LeBron and a head coach that is considered a mad scientist in basketball circles. They held him to 15 points in Game 1 and let him score 42 in Game 2. In Game 3 LeBron could give us another 45-10-14 line or he could give us a performance that we will talk about forever and we’d only have the Celtics to than for that.