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LeBron Mode

Game 2 was LeBron James in Cheat Mode.

April 19, 2018 - 11:58 am

Before Game 2, Cavs coach Ty Lue challenged LeBron James to be “aggressive and set the tone early.” Message heard. Message received. Here’s the written play-by-play of scoring in the first 3 ½ minutes of the game:

LeBron James makes 12-foot pullup jump shot

LeBron James makes two point shot

LeBron James makes 17-foot two point shot

LeBron James makes 28-foot three point shot

LeBron James makes 17-foot two point shot

LeBron James makes 2-toot two point shot

At the 8:29 mark of the first quarter, the score was LeBron 13, Indiana and the other Cavs 0.

The Pacers made a free throw to make it 13-1 and then LeBron hit a 3, stretching his lead to 15 over the Pacers and his teammates before Indiana made its first bucket of the game and Kevin Love finally got on the board for the Cavs. 16 points in five minutes. I repeat, 16 points in five minutes. The most LeBron has ever scored in the first five minutes of a game in his career. 

That was LeBron James in Cheat Mode. Really…, it was LeBron James in LeBron mode. Going out and absolutely dominating the game, putting the team on his back and carrying them to a 15 point lead five minutes into the game. That’s why he wasn’t panicking about being down 1-0 in the series. Because he can erase a deficit in a series or in a game all by himself. Literally. He did it last night. In the postseason. In a must win game. Now it’s 1-1 heading to Indy.

And if I were LeBron, I wouldn’t be packing for Indy, I'd be packing for Philly, or LA, or Houston, or wherever he's thinking of playing next season. Why?

Because he staked his guys to a 15-point lead in the first half. Had one of the best games of his entire career and had to kill himself to do it and they still nearly lost. 16 points in the first five minutes, 29 in the first half, 46 for the game and it still nearly wasn’t enough. Like, it’s be real, guys, and it's been fun, but it hasn't been real fun. In fact, it really kind of sucks. One thing for me to get all you of my back and drag you and down the floor all night, to beat Golden State, in the finals. Quite another to have to do it in our barn, in the first round against the Pacers. 

46 points, 12 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals, one of the all-time great playoff performances. A night where you’re watching it and thinking, man, I am lucky to see this. We are all witnesses. Except that’s exactly how you could describe his teammates last night – witnesses. Reaching for the popcorn so they can everyone where they were the night LeBron went off for 46 and 16 in the first five minutes. And where they were, was standing around, watching him do it and without lifting a damn finger.

Because that huge performance was nearly for nothing because the guys around him essentially did nothing. Aside from Larry Nance Jr spiking this Trevor Booker shot.

That was pretty much it from the rest of the Cavs. Kevin Love had 15 and 8, plus a busted thumb. So that’s great. Kyle Korver had 12. And then it was a lot of nothing. George Hill, 6 points. Jose Calderon and Rodney Hood, five points each. Nance, Jeff Green, and Jordan Clarkson, two points each. Tristan Thompson – DNP – Coach’s Decision. Honestly, you could slap a DNP-on bunch of the other guys, even if they were on the floor. Because there’s a difference between being on the floor and actually play. 

JR Smith , actually go the start and then did nothing with it, finishing with just  five point… but at least he had a great quote: "I was kind of pissed that I only had [five] shots, honestly." Of course you were, Swish. And that’s why I love you. That’s why we all do. 

And  in his defense, he did ball up on defense. Ty Lue noticed that, saying "He's not scared to hit people. You've got to hit people in this league. It's a contact sport, and guys have to understand and realize that."

It is a contact sport. It’s also a sport with five guys from each team on the floor, or at least that’s supposed to be the case, but last night was another one of those nights where LeBron had to do it all by himself. If I’m Indiana, I’m pissed that I blew a chance to go up 2-0 last night, but I’m feeling pretty damn good about myself because LeBron just went LeBron in a game where Victor Oladipo was in foul trouble, and you still nearly ripped the game at the end. 

LeBron plays the game in God Mode, leading everyone in points, rebounds and minutes, and Oladipo still had a chance to tie it with less than 30 seconds left. And you know who got the rebound on that miss? LeBron. Because of course he did. 

I haven’t seen a team so reliant on one player since, well, since LeBron took a team with Larry Hughes, Boobie Gibson, Eric Snow, Drew Gooden, and Big Z to the NBA Finals. 

And if I were LeBron last night, I would’ve just jogged off the court, headed home and starting packing. And nobody would blame you. You just played your bleep off and this crew nearly blew it. 

Forget winning a title this year, if this team reaches the Finals, scratch that, if this team gets out of  this series, LeBron should get another banner because I’m starting to think that team with Boobie and Z was better than this one. In fact, I know it was.