NBA Playoffs: What Happened To LeBron?
8-42, LeBron? Eight for forty-two shooting in the first two games of this series? Really? After opening the series with a blistering 2-14, King James followed that explosion up with 6-24 outing.
Could this be bad-tipping karma coming home to roost or is his (lack of) performance a combination of stifling Celtics defense and bad shooting? To hear Paul Pierce tell it, it’s the defense, although some folks at the XO Prime Steaks restaurant might disagree.
Whatever the case, because of LeBron’s disappearance on the offensive end, the Cavaliers find themselves down 0-2 to the best regular season team in the Eastern Conference.
Working in the Cavs’ favor is the fact that Games 3 and 4 will be played in Cleveland and if Boston repeats their Atlanta Hawks series road woes, LeBron and company have a good chance of getting right back into this series. However, the Cavaliers are not the Hawks in relation to talent beyond their star. In Atlanta, Joe Johnson had Josh Childress, Marvin Williams, Josh Smith, and Al Horford to back him up.
With LeBron, not so much.
While he does have a completely competent Zydrunas Ilgauskas, the Big Z is really, really slow and nowhere near as explosive as Joe Johnson’s counterparts (not that Johnson is LeBron clone, although, he is the Hawks best player). If Gibson, West and Szczerbiak start consistently making the shots LeBron provides, the should be able to at least make things difficult on the Celtics.
But if LeBron keeps this newfound shooting prowess up, they are liable to get swept out of the playoffs; a distinction I’m not sure a defending Eastern Conference champion wants to experience.