LeBron James in the NBA Finals is like Meryl Streep being nominated for an Oscar. It’s expected. It’s clockwork.
King James is heading to his eighth straight NBA Finals after carrying the Cavaliers to a Game 7 win over the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals on Sunday.
A big emphasis on carrying. He’s averaging 34.0 points, 9.2 rebounds and 8.8 assists in 18 playoff games. And he has to.
This Cleveland team opened the season with high hopes and a star-studded roster that included Isaiah Thomas, Dwyane Wade, Derrick Rose and Kevin Love. But Thomas struggled to find his footing and was shipped to the Lakers. Wade went back to Miami. Rose was traded to the Jazz and ended up landing in Minnesota. Love remained, but suffered a concussion in Game 6 against Boston. They went from contenders to rebuilders by midseason.
Other than Love (13.9 points), there’s no one on this roster who’s averaging double-digits in scoring during the postseason. If Cleveland finds a way to beat either the Warriors or the Rockets — both heavily favored over the Cavs by oddsmakers — it depends entirely on James. If he pulls off the impossible, prepare for a summer of debate whether he’s the GOAT.
— Joe Nguyen, The Denver Post
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NBA: Cavaliers 87, Celtics 79
Full story | Box score
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