Anyone who is a pro-Jordan person in the great LeBron James vs. Michael Jordan debate, immediately goes to the train of thought that James does not have nearly the same ruthless, killer instinct that Jordan had. When it comes to a 25-year-old James, that argument is fair.
In 2010, James was accused of “quitting” by many in a 120-88 Game 5 loss to the Celtics in Cleveland. He walked through plays and didn’t have nearly the same amount of intensity on defense. He shot an atrocious 3-of-14 from the floor in that one and a few weeks later he officially quit on Cleveland in favor of Miami.
Thirty-year-old LeBron is a different animal. He easily could have quit when Kevin Love went down with a season-ending injury in late April. He could have quit when Kyrie Irving went down with a season-ending injury after Game 1 of the Finals. After Sunday night’s 40-point outing, in which he also had 14 rebounds and 11 assists, James now has three 40-plus point nights in this series against Golden State.
“I feel confident because I’m the best player in the world,” a not-so-humble James said after Game 5. “It’s that simple.
It’s clear by now that the Cavs are going to live or die with LeBron shooting over 30 shots from the floor per game. In Cleveland’s two wins in the series, James jacked up 34 and 35 shots. In the Cavs’ only “bad” loss in the Finals, LeBron shot the ball just 22 times.
James will likely be touching the ball at the beginning and end of the majority of the Cavaliers’ possessions Tuesday in Cleveland for Game 6 (9 p.m., ABC). If not, his phenomenal postseason will come to a close.