Monday, January 7, 2008

Lebron - The One Man Show

Once again yesterday the Cavaliers were sleepwalking through another game, trailing by 15 going into the fourth quarter; and then Lebron James woke up.

Seriously, the man is an unbelievable talent, something that we have never seen in this town and will probably never see again. When things go badly for the Cavaliers and he knows he can do it, he just flat out takes over and wills his team to a win. Take yesterday for example. His teammates were dog shit again and he was being heckled by two women sitting courtside. That set him off. Sasha Pavlovic was so bad Coach Mike Brown dusted off Damon Jones. Z and Drew Gooden were 6-18 combined. Larry Hughes was, well, Larry Hughes. So Lebron decided it was time for a little one on five action.

He scored 24 points in the fourth to silence the Air Canada Centre crowd and pull out the improbable 93-90 win. As
the great Brian Windhorst from the Akron Beacon-Journal put it: James was in one those zones at Air Canada Centre, a period in time during which he can control the entire game with grace and brutality, strength and poise. They are still rare enough to be special, but frequent enough to verify why every arena he enters has fans wearing his jersey.

It's not yet clear where this one will rank, but for the moment it ranks pretty high. James scored 24 of his 39 points in the fourth quarter to rewrite history books and lead the Cavs to a 93-90 win over the Raptors

Deadspin had their own version: Dearest Sam Mitchell: Anthony Parker cannot stop LeBron James one-on-one. In fact, Anthony Parker -- wielding a goddamn scythe -- cannot stop LeBron James one-one-one. So hey, why don't you wise up, try coaching a little, and change your defensive strategy? Fuck. LeBron James scored 39 points, including 24 in the fourth, to help the Cavs rally for a 93-90 victory over the Raps. I was there in person. I was a witness.

Branson "Wrong" of the Cleveland Plain Dealer said James put on a performance similar to his legendary fourth quarter against the Detroit Pistons in Game 5 of last year's Eastern Conference Finals. His play on Sunday did not have the same importance, but it was still memorable and left the crowd just as amazed as Pistons fans last season.

Andrew Ayres of pointed out LeBron James' fourth-quarter takeover delivered a win over the Raptors on Sunday and pushed the Cavaliers to the .500 mark. Since his return on Dec. 11 after missing five games (all losses), Cleveland has gone 8-5, including wins in its last three games. Now 17-17, the Cavs could grab hold of the No. 3 spot in the East if they heat up against a reasonable schedule, while the currently hot Nets and Wiz cool off.

Mark Stein's Power Rankings on jumped the Cavs up five slots after yesterday's amazing performance by Lebron. The floor is LeBron's after his game-turning, 24-point fourth quarter in Toronto: ''. . . We know we're a better team than we've shown early in the season, but it's a new year and we're undefeated so far.''

Lebron knows what he has to do when he has to do it. He said yesterday after the game "I live for the fourth quarter. I dream about making big shots in the fourth quarter and making comebacks. Games are won in the fourth quarter." The thing of it is, the Cavs have played poorly most of the year, yet have now won five of six and are on the move, thanks to the weak conference they play in. "We know that it's time to step it up," James said. "The Eastern Conference is so bad with records right now. We can go on a five- or six-game winning streak and be in third or fourth place."

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