In his 100th game of the year, after leading the regular season and post-season in minutes, LeBron James played all 48 minutes in a playoff game for the first time since he was 21-years-old in 2006. The 33-year-old delivered an epic game 7 performance in the Boston Garden Sunday night, by absolutely willing his team to an 87-79 hard-fought victory. James finished with 35 points, 15 rebounds and 9 dimes leading the Cavs to the Finals in what could be one of the greatest accomplishments of his storied career.
Coming into the night, you just knew someone other than LeBron would have to step up and get to around the 20-point mark, especially without Kevin Love suiting up because of concussion-like symptoms. Jeff Green ended up being that guy, posting 19 points and 9 rebounds in 42 minutes on the court.
I’ve been more than critical of Green in the past and I was scared Cleveland would have to rely so heavily on him in a Game 7 on the road after a solid performance the previous game. Jeff hit some big shots down the stretch and was one of the only Cavs to create his own shot. He even defended Horford well on a few possessions. J.R. Smith did J.R. Smith things, hitting 3 threes and Tristan Thompson anchored the Cleveland defense and rebounded the basketball.
The game was something you would have expected over 10 years ago in the NBA with tired legs, missed three-pointers, and lacking offense exuded by both teams. It definitely had some entertaining moments though, as Cleveland faced a double-digit deficit early in the first half. LeBron caught one of his signature blocks, absolutely baiting Terry Rozier into a rejection, which James just froze after and stayed on the defensive side of the court in awe of what happened. 20-year-old Jayson Tatum even got to posterize his idol with a ferocious slam on the 3-time NBA champion. We even got a classic flop from Marcus Smart.
— NBA (@NBA) May 28, 2018
James has now won 6 straight Game 7s and this moment proved to be just too big for the neophyte C’s. The best player ever proved to be too much for them to handle in a game of this magnitude as players like Rozier, Smart and Jaylen Brown shrunk under the bright lights.
lebron is in charge of whatever it is that’s in charge of the universe
— Shea Serrano (@SheaSerrano) May 28, 2018
All of this begs the question of where dragging this 2017-2018 turbulent Cleveland Cavaliers team to the NBA Finals rank in King James’ career pantheon? Jeff Van Gundy called this his greatest achievement to date during the broadcast.
Currently, I have it slotted right behind the 2016 championship and still ahead of leading a lackluster roster in 2007 to the Finals. It’s crazy to think that this could mean more than, say his second ring in Miami, when stacking up his decorated resume. Somehow, if the Rockets win tonight and James up-ends them for his fourth title, I believe you have to make that the greatest achievement of his career.
Again: What LeBron James does every night, at 33 years old, for as many years as he has done it, with the expectation of greatness every night, might be the greatest thing I’ve seen in sports.
— Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) May 28, 2018
Appreciate the greatness you are witnessing, people. What LeBron has been able to do is nothing short of extraordinary in his 15th season! Even if this season ends with his sixth Finals loss, the real ones’ know just how special of a chapter it was. I don’t know how much more we will be privy to witness at this level. Now, only the Lakers and Celtics franchises have more Finals appearances than LeBron does.
— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) May 28, 2018
The greatest basketball player of all-time. Thank you King James. See you for Game 1 on Thursday.
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) May 28, 2018