‘Fatigue’ and ‘Tired’ are the two words I woke up to this morning, and to me, it’s all baloney. The Boston Celtics defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers 96-83 in Game 5, giving the Celtics just one win away from reaching the NBA Finals.
If Boston achieves that last win, they would be the first Eastern Conference team to eliminate a LeBron James-led squad in eight years. Eight frickin years! However, it was an ugly win. The Celtics shot just 36.5 percent from the floor (worse than the Cavs’ 41.9 percent), but made up for it by making 13 3-pointers, 21 of 23 free throws and scooped up 15-second chance points.
LeBron’s been carrying the Cavs all season long, and the main topic around the NBA is that he’s tired and exhausted. Game 5 had the first signs of fatigue from LeBron and the media absolutely blew up. He’s played more minutes in the regular season than any other player. He’s played more playoff minutes than any other player too. LeBron at age 33, is carrying such a heavy load since min-October, you can understand that he might be a little tired and can’t repeatedly put his head down and go to the rim again and again and remain effective.
The media’s blaming LeBron, but you can’t put all of this on James. Not on a night where Tristan Thompson scored a single point, J.R. Smith scored two and George Hill had seven. That’s a total of 10 points (on two made field goals) from three veteran starters who, when needed the most, brought G League-level performances into an Eastern Conference finals game.
This is the same problem I pointed out before. LeBron needs help to escape this Eastern Conference Series. The pressure should be focused on Kevin Love instead. Love is a perennial All-Star but is only giving the team an average of 15 points and shooting 39% from the floor. If he steps up and starts scoring like he did in Minnesota, then the tables turn.
Catch you Monday.