Saturday August 18, 2018

Mendoza: LeBron at it again; danger in Game 7

WAS I not very emphatic here yesterday in saying LeBron “King” James won’t allow Boston to oust him and the Cavaliers in the NBA Eastern Conference Finals?

That he won’t allow anyone to whip his ass at a time when his greatness is on microscope?

I even pictured him as being on trial in Saturday’s Game 6.

Well, wasn’t he?

And did I not hit the nail right on its head, so to speak—if I may be allowed to blow my horn a little?

With his name on the line, with his season on the brink and, yes, with his whole world seen on front row by all of mankind, LeBron did not disappoint.

In another performance a la Beethoven in music, Van Gogh in painting and Einstein in science, LeBron put on a show that had essentially equaled, if not surpassed, all the past basketball greats combined, to include West, Jabbar, Magic, Malone, Bird, Bryant, and even His Airness, the inimitable Michael Jordan.

In shouldering home Cleveland to a 109-99 victory yesterday past Boston, LeBron did practically all the things both imaginable and unimaginable.

He scored.He rebounded. He assisted. He tripled back-to-back.

So magnificent was he that his harshest critics would be deemed nuts not to salute him.

I do not have to cite here the statistics that he had smashed again—already too many to count in fact that the list could go the distance from Aparri to Afghanistan.

His game-high 46 points alone yesterday was a career-high in an elimination match, his last field goal recorded at the 57.8-second mark of the lopsided contest that gave Cleveland an unreachable 109-96 lead.

With the job more than done, coach Ty Lue rested LeBron—finally.

Thus, in a game lasting 48 minutes, LeBron had barely a minute to rest—a terrifying testament of how grimly determined and physically fit he is in tearing an opponent apart—almost like a tiger mangling his prey.

But big, spirits-lifting and ego-inspiring the Cleveland win may be that tied up the series at 3-3, there is still the Game 7 decider on Monday that LeBron has to face.

To be held in Boston, the Celtics are 10-0, win-loss there in the playoffs.

Thus, for LeBron, this is one Mt. Everest he’ll have to climb. Again.

Flunk it, and the king becomes, suddenly, your everyday dude. Commoner. Cruel.