Triangle Offense

Time to man up or time to pack up for ”the King” by thesportsminded

LeBron James is no doubt the Most Valuable Player of the regular season. He doesn’t seem like one yesterday when he needed to be the best player in the world in his own stage.

From the best record to the brink of elimination, that’s where the Cleveland Cavaliers are right now. Thanks to their lethargic game five and a disappearing act by their so called king.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not his biggest fan but I do respect his game and his capabilities. I even named him as my defensive player of the year besides being MVP. No doubt he is one of the best players in the world it’s just that there’s an issue of his play come May.

Yes yes, if you look at it two years, you would remember him shooting the lights out by himself as he single handedly demolished the Detroit Pistons in game five of their Eastern Conference Finals showdown in 2007 by pouring in 25 points in the fourth and in overtime to rescue his Cavs. Everyone remembers that.

Fast forward from three years ago, same month in another game five, LeBron played hot potato on his way to shooting 3 of 15, including 1 of 11 outside the shaded area, for 15 points. Not so MVP like.

James never got into any flow. He was passive throughout the game and looked like he didn’t want any piece of the ball at all when the Cs are making their big push. He attempted just four shots in the first half, didn’t make his first basket until late in the third period and essentially was a non-factor in the Cavs’ biggest and most important game of the season so far.

After that classic game three years ago that solidified him as one of the best, questions remain: did he grow up to be a better player and show more of his potential? absolutely. Did he grow up to be a leader and a winner when it matters the most? I don’t think so.

After watching game five yesterday, typical NBA fans wonder: where is the leadership? where is the best performance when your team needs it the most? Where is the MVP when its time to step up? He was nowhere to be found.

After logging the best record in the regular season for the second consecutive year, the LeBrons, who’re subject to change their monicker if their King leaves in July, are now in a win-or-go home situation again after dropping a pivotal game five at home against the aging but raging Celtics.

Oops, don’t get me wrong, I am not a Celtics fan. I hate the Celtics for that matter. It’s just that they peaked at the right time compared to their foes who are seemingly lost when the calendar turns May. Their choke job last year against the Magic is a perfect example about this team’s character. James also had a lukewarm performance last year in their do-or-die game six in that said series.

So what’s the matter with LeBron? He is a good player, no he is one of the best players, but somehow something is missing when push comes to shove. He just didn’t seem to have the winning swagger required to win a championship. He just didn’t want it as much as Jordan wanted it. He just didn’t want it as much as Magic wanted it. He just didn’t want it as much a Bird did. He just didn’ want it as much as Kobe did. He just didn’t want it as much as Wade did.

Here’s what he said after his dismal game yesterday:

”Me? Personally?” he said. ”Nah, I’m not disappointed. I’m never disappointed in my play. I feel like I could do more but I’m not disappointed at all.”

Wow. Seriously? Dude, you’re playing game five of the East Semis at home with the series tied 2-2 and you were virtually a non-factor. Come on, you’re the MVP. So much for your injured elbow and lack of supporting cast.

”I’ve got a handicap sticker on,” he yelled to his teammates. ”You’ve got to give me special privileges.”

This isn’t exactly the time for excuses. He can’t use his injured elbow as an excuse but he did. Kobe and Wade never made their injuries an issue. He can’t use his lack of supporting cast an issue, you just gotta win a ring with all those stars in by your side. Maybe he can use the ”Mo is just a great player in the regular season and a no one come post season,” ┬átag but that’s not how it should be if he wants to win a ring.

He just needs to suck everything up, man up to everything he says and just show that he wants a ring more than anyone. He just needs to man up. As long as he doesn’t have that ”I’ll win at all cost” mentality, it just wouldn’t work for him. Yes, even if he moves to New York in July.

And oh, he cares about his upcoming free agency as much as he cares about winning a ring. See the point?

He has every God given talent in the sport and a potential to be one of the all-time greats but critics just can’t help to question his will to be a winner. The sad thing is that he acts as if he had already won something.

James is still at the peak of his youthful zest. He has every potential to be ranked among the likes of Jordan, Magic, and Bird. I’m just not sure if he wants it. Unless he wins, you just can’t compare him to those guys. Not yet, or not at all if he won’t man up to the plate.

The series is not over. At least not yet. Anyone who says it’s over after game five is out of his mind. This is a best-of-seven series. The Cavs have all the power in their hands to win two in a row, yes even game six in Boston. They have every bit of tool to go all the way. But until James learn what it takes to be a winner, don’t expect the Cavs to advance. I’m just not sure if James has it in him to go all out for a ring.

Personally, I want Cleveland to win because we, the Laker nation, want them in June this time around. I’m just not sure if they’ll make it past May.