Let me start by saying Sasha Pavlovic is horrible. My nickname for him is T.O., because he’s a walking turnover. All he can do is shoot, and he hasn’t been doing that. I don’t even know why he’s on the court.
Now that I got that off my chest … that performance by LeBron James was unbelievable.
I DVR’d it and watched it late night. I always record the show afterward because the games always run long. But this one went double overtime.
So with a couple minutes left in the second overtime, the “Delete/Don’t Delete” box popped up on the screen. I wanted to throw the remote at the television. I wanted to pluck my eyebrows with a hot wad of Big League Chew just to distract me from the frustration.
Making it worse, it was a TNT game, which means no midnight replay, as does ESPN. I actually had to watch the final moments — including a pull-up 3-pointer from the right wing over two defenders, and the game-winning layup in traffic — on NBA TV highlights!
Don’t worry. I will be watching the game again on NBA TV tomorrow morning! FYI: all conference semifinal, conference final and NBA Final games replay the next morning on NBA TV, no matter what station they aired on.
Back to the heroics. I haven’t seen anything that spectacular since Jordan’s sick performance (pun intended) against Utah in Game 5 of the 1997 Finals. The degree of difficulty alone was unnerving. He made otherwise terrible shots look like shooting dirty socks into the hamper.
What happened to the Pistons vaunted defense? Was LeBron that good, or Detroit that lackluster?
The Cavs just might lose Game 6 and 7, as they did last year. So what. LeBron has taken the next step. He has elevated his game to another level. Anything else this season is gravy. Doing any more than he’s already done only makes the expectations higher next season.
Check out this progression:
2003-04 (rookie year) – James leads Cleveland to an 18-win improvement. He averaged 20.0 points, 5.9 assists and 5.5 rebounds as the Cavs finished 35-47 and a game out of the playoffs.
2004-05 (second year) – Cleveland barely missed the playoffs, finishing 42-40, which was tied with New Jersey for the eighth and final seed, but the Cavs lost the tie breaker. James averaged 27.2 points, 7.4 rebounds, 7.2 assists and 2.2 steals.
2005-06 (third year) – LeBron emerges as an MVP candidate, averaging 31.4 points, 7.0 rebounds, 6.6 assists in 42.5 minutes. Cleveland went 50-32, captured the No. 3 seed in the East and reached the East semis, where they took Detroit to Game 7
2006-07 (fourth year) – LeBron averaged 27.3 points, 6.7 rebounds and 6.0 assists as he leads Cleveland to another 50-win season and the No. 2 seed in the East. He has them in the East Finals for the first time since God knows when, and he’s a win away from getting Cleveland to its first NBA Finals ever.
Youc an also add to those accomplishments his historic performance Thursday night, which officially legitimized his arrival as a championship-caliber star. And to think people question his decision to find Marshall. Obviously he knows when he’s feeling it and when he’s not. He was feeling it in Game 5, and he carried the Cavs. Amazing.
Mike Brown summed it up best after the game:
“He’s only 22 years old. Wow. Wow.”

Marcus Thompson