There is certainly disappointment of another season without a title. There are numerous questions about match-ups and strategy that certainly need to be addressed, especially if Mike Brown and the core of this team return. But what can you do? How much disappointment and heartbreak can a fan or fan base endure?
To me, the blow of this series loss is somewhat cushioned because I’m certain that LeBron is injured. Yes, there are other theories and rumors in play, but tell me which is more likely. Is it more likely that LeBron decided during the postseason, that he was finished with Mike Brown and wanted to throw his best chance at a title to get him fired- or that he was dealing with an injury that limited his mobility with his shooting arm? LeBron James could have had Brown fired at any point. Any time he wanted I believe. Why throw away a chance to win just to spite a coach?
Is it more likely that LeBron was hurt and unable to feel the ball like normal, or that he just played carelessly with passes and dribbling in the biggest game of his career? Given what you have seen from this man for the last seven years- the blood, sweat and tears; do you really think that he said I don’t care about winning anymore? Is it more likely that he “has his foot out the door and his mind in New York” or that he just doesn’t know how to play with this type of injury? He had 19 rebounds. Guys that aren’t trying don’t get that many rebounds.
So what about the rest of the team? Poor efforts? Maybe. Let’s not forget that this was a starting 5 playing for the first time together all season. Mike Brown said after the game “We never got into a rhythm.” I concur. There was no rhythm offensively and no cohesiveness defensively. Now, who is to blame for that is certainly up for discussion. Think Brown would like to have those four games back at the end of the regular season? But would four games make a difference against a Boston starting five that has been together for years now? Boston plugged in new role players. Cleveland was trying to plug in new components and make things work on the fly. It caught up to them.
And if I’m correct about LeBron’s injury, the rest of team had no idea how to react to LeBron. The entire offense is predicated on James making shots, driving to the rim and finishing, and setting up open looks for teammates. Sure, when LeBron is out of the game they can improvise for a few minutes at a time. When he’s in the game and not himself? They don’t know what to do. Look at how many times LeBron passed the ball to someone who was covered and can’t create shots for themselves. Why would he do that if he wasn’t able to finish the play himself? And why would the rest of the team expect anything different from LeBron while he is on the court than for him to be his usual self? I think Mo started to see tonight that he had to do more, and he just couldn’t get it done.
You may think I’m making excuses. I’m not. I choose to use the past seven years of LeBron’s career to help explain what we just saw. I believe that we will find out soon the extent of LBJ’s injury, and that it seriously affected him. If I’m wrong then I will certainly admit that. I believe Coach Brown will be fired. Unless LeBron makes his staying a condition. He won’t. His in-game decisions in the playoffs over the years warrant it.
In the end will LeBron return to the Cavaliers? Like Lebron said in his press conference, I really don’t want to think about that right now.