Friday, May 29, 2009

So far, so good

So good that he amazed Cleveland native and Sports Illustrated columnist Joe Posnanski by becoming the first player to put up a triple double with at least a dozen points, rebounds, and assists in NBA playoff history as the Cavs won Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Orland Magic Thursday night, 112-102. LeBron scored or assisted on 32 consecutive Cavalier points starting late in the third quarter, shades of his 25 straight points against the Detroit Pistons in, uh, Game 5 of the 2007 Eastern Conference Finals.

So good that he can make everyone forget that the Cavs choked away yet another huge first-half lead against the Magic, the third time in three home games his team accomplished that feat. Leads of 16, 23, and 22 points have vanished faster than the value of a home in Cleveland over the past year.

So good that it doesn't even matter that Coach of the Year Mike Brown doesn't know what to do other than say to LeBron, "Here's the ball, big fella." (Come to think of it, maybe that's actually what the Coach of the Year should do, recognize his team's best chance of winning and get out of the way.)

So good that he can make sports fans in a snakebitten city actually believe they can win a series in which their team has blown three sizeable leads in home games, needed a miraculous shot to even stay alive, and fell into a hole in which only eight teams in history and Baby Jessica have emerged unscathed.

That's how good LeBron James is. Good enough to wrest a city's angst onto his shoulders ala Atlas and carry it into Game 6 Saturday night on the road in Orlando. Good enough to make us think that the clouds will part, the sun will come out, birds will sing, flowers will bloom, and God will smile down upon Cleveland.

Yeah, he's that good.

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