05.31.07

Eastern Confernce Finals Game 5 : LeBron’s Takeover

Posted in Basketball at 11:45 pm by

Cavaliers 109, Pistons 107 (double OT)



Jeff Jensen
says his jaw is on the floor. He can join the club. Leave it to billion year old Dr. Jack Ramsey to point out one of the night’s more stunning, if arcane stats : the Cavs totalled a mere 13 assists while scoring 109. And 7 of those assists were from LeBron James.

“That tells you,” chortled Dr. Jack, “that someone must’ve been doing an awful lot by himself.”

And that might be the great understatement of the week. I’m old enough to remember Jordan torching the Celtics for 63. I’m washed up enough to recall Reggie Miller going nuts at MSG inbetween taunts of Spike Lee. But I cannot recall in my lifetime an individual playoff performance as impressive as LeBron’s 48 points — including the Cavs’ final 25 (29 of their last 30) over the course of the 4th quarter through 2 OT’s — nor the way he scored many of them.
For all the furor over James not taking the last shot in Game One, there’s a good chance he’ll not be hearing much criticism for the next 2 days — particularly given what he pulled off tonight without Larry Hughes. While the Pistons can scratch their skulls over a layup here or there, there’s not much they can do when James is hitting long, off-balance jumpers with a pair of defenders on him.

TNT’s 3 headed monster of Reggie Miller, The Chuckster and Kenny Smith took issue with the likes of Michael Cooper, Terry Porter and Mark Jackson not getting the coaching gigs that went to Marc Iavaroni, Billy Donovan and Jim O’Brien. And while I ususally blow a gasket over certain (pale) retreads being 3rd of 4th chances, I’m not sure they’ve picked the right examples to groan about. Cooper and Porter have coached in the Association already, and I suspect the latter will get another chance before long. O’Brien took the Celtics to a conference final, Iavaroni was considered by multiple clubs this spring, and Billy Donovan is merely coming off back to back national titles.

And I’m 100% against Mark Jackson becoming a head coach. Not because he’s unqualified, but if you break Jax and Ian Eagle up, I’ll be deprived of mucho material come next winter.

3 Responses to “Eastern Confernce Finals Game 5 : LeBron’s Takeover”

  1. David Roth says:

    I still don’t like LeBron, exactly, but he stepped up the way I had expected him to do earlier, against the Nets. I guess he’s supposed to be pretty good, and he obviously is. Which is good, because the rest of his team — and I’m including Ilgauskas at his best (i.e. with the Doug Martsch beard) — is pretty garbage. Basically, this team is one win away from going to the NBA Finals with Daniel Gibson as its second-best player?

  2. Bob Cook says:

    LeBron played an incredible game, but Flip Saunders also proved he’s a worse coach than Mike Brown, which is saying something, and the Pistons proved that once they let their foot off the accelerator after stomping the Bulls two straight, they haven’t found the will to put it back on. Saunders seemed to be operating out of the Lenny Wilkens, Ehlo-on-Jordan school of defending a superstar. Why didn’t he run more guys at him? Didn’t Saunders see Drew Gooden missing that cake three-footer that could have ended the game in regulation? Or force James and pass and foul one of the Cavs’ sorry free-throw shooters. It didn’t help, too, that whomever was on James played matador D, with no backside help whatsoever. Someone asked James at the post-game presser about Detroit “letting” him inside, and James acted offended, understandably. James took this game over, no doubt, but Detroit let him do so in the meekest way possible.

  3. matt says:

    mike brown still shouldn’t get a pass for making it the third game this series where they called a meaningless timeout instead of saving it for a game winning attempt taking it in from half court. he’s the worst.

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