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LeBron did it again


PhilBoxing.com





LeBron James has not missed the NBA Finals since 2010.

That was when the Boston Celtics beat the Cleveland Cavaliers, 4-2, on the way to winning the Eastern Conference finals and eventually crowning themselves the National Basketball Association champions, beating the Orlando Magic in the process.

This year, James, again, found himself battling the Celtics for the right to carry the East versus the West for all the marbles. The Cavs and the Celts were tied at three wins apiece after three games necessitating a do-or-die, winner-take-all Game 7.

Never mind if the Celtics have yet to lose at their TD Garden home in this year?s post season. Boston had been unbeatable at home during the postseason ? 10-0 at the Garden with three convincing double-digit victories against the Cavs ? and Cleveland has not played well in Boston.

Not this time though. James won?t allow that 2010 loss to happen again.

And, indeed, King James didn?t.

James hasn?t lost a Game 7 ? that?s five consecutive Game 7 victories highlighted by a huge conquest in 2016 of the Golden State Warriors that gifted the city its first ever NBA championship since buying the franchise in 1970.

His overall stats with a 5-2 record in Game 7s: 34.9 points, 9.1 rebounds and 5.1 assists per game while shooting 48.5% from the field (courtesy of USA Today Sports). An outstanding track record of Game 7 performances.

James, all of 48 minutes without relief and led the Cavs recover from a slow start and rally on late in the fourth quarter to beat the Celtics, 87-79, on Sunday night in Boston, in the process earning a trip to the NBA Finals ? his eighth straight.

James led the way with 35 points, 14 rebounds and nine assists, shooting 12-of-24 from the field. Jeff Green, playing in lieu of an injured Kevin Love, also shot 50 percent from the field, contributing 19 points for the Cavaliers.

J.R. Smith and Tristan Thompson also finished with double-figures, scoring 11 points and 10 points, respectively helping the Cavs erased a 12-point Celts lead, before halftime.

No less than Celtics coach Brad Stevens sang James' praises in his postgame press conference, saying: "I thought it was an outstanding defensive game, and again, he still got 35, 15, nine. It's a joke."

Much has been said of LeBron?s place in history as his legacy has began to galvanize toward the end of his career. The conversation has raged on about LeBron vs. Michael Jordan, or Wilt Chamberlain, or Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Preference varies greatly between fans, while some still pick the centrist route and say there?s no simple way to compare across eras. There?s been mathematical attempts to rank the two, and even MJ?s old teammates have said LeBron is a more complete player.

With LeBron having won another Game 7 out in the Eastern Conference as he heads to another Finals. He probably won?t match Jordan?s championship mark. But the heck!

The pride of Akron, Ohio was part of the greatest comeback in NBA Finals history against the Golden State Warriors. He beat the Indiana Pacers all by himself, in the playoffs, just this very season. James has had a career season at age 33, playing 48 minutes in the 100th game of the 2017-18 season.

LeBron has willed his way to yet another NBA Finals, with perhaps his worst team since the 2007 squad that was swept by the San Antonio Spurs. To add further insult to injury, LeBron pushed this team past a very good team in the Celtics, on the road, and without Love.

Is James the greatest American sports story of this generation? Is he a the best player the NBA has ever seen? Time, will tell.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Eddie Alinea.


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