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LeBron James took his first shot 16 seconds after game 2, about nine and a half minutes before the game began 1. That was a sign, a clear sign that the Indiana Pacers He should be paying attention to pull oneself.
As a rule, opponents should try not to get James's attention.
After this opening match, James took custody of the early trial and scored 1
It was enough to ask you why James does not do that all the time.
This is how James and the Cavs operated this season. Nothing is ever easy … until it looks incredibly easy. And then, if you ask yourself how Cleveland ever loses, if it can play the James card, then something turns.
And you wonder how it ever won.
The Pacers fought playfully, pushing the pace, forcing the Cavs to defend in the transition, something they stunk at any season. Indiana doubled Cleveland in the paint job, 62-30, and did almost the same in fast break points, 15-8.
Even with Victor Oladipo fighting early putrid problems, Indy spent most of the second half of the single-digit range. Without James' early blitz, Cleveland could easily have lost Wednesday.
On the way to Indiana with a 1: 1 split, the Cavaliers should feel both encouraged and vulnerable.
As tall as James was, Cleveland has never solved Oladipo. He always attacked downhill when the defender of the Cavs fell back, as well as against counters, traps, and other defenses he saw. And the look he missed, a wide-open threesome less than 30 seconds behind in the fourth quarter that would tie the game, could have changed everything.
"We were lucky," James later said in the TNT broadcast. "We gave Oladipo a wide open three, and he missed it … that's easily something he can do."
Imagine the Triple had gone down. Imagine that head coach Nate McMillan did not put Oladipo into the game with two fouls over 62 seconds. Imagine that the Cavs somehow lost a quarrel in which James was a demi-god seeking mortals to punish mortals.
It could have happened.
These extremes, which take place over months, weeks, individual games and even quarters, somehow define the cavaliers. The concept of switch flipping has been central to the team since James returned in 2014. Of course, this narrative will naturally form when James is present. Because as long as a transcendent talent is nearby, every bad outcome or lossless gameplay feels reversible.
Based on Cleveland's triple trips to the Finals, everything is reversible to date. James is the ultimate fixer on this path.
Game 2 was expected by Apex LeBron, but it did not produce a convincing victory unpredictably. Does that mean that the best player in the league, even when fully engaged, can not get this team where it wants to go? Or is it all just a device for James, showering us with an even greater form of greatness?