The Cavs Are Battered but Not Broken
It's almost as if the Cleveland Cavaliers should appoint a stretcher as their team mascot.
They are bruised, battered, and deflated.
Despite all their nagging injuries and losing their third star Kevin Love for the season, Tuesday night at Quicken Loans Arena, LeBron & Co willed their way past the Chicago Bulls.
This win allowed the Cavs to recapture home-court advantage. They're now one win away from the Eastern Conference finals and some much needed rest if the Wizards-Hawks series goes seven games.
James won't admit defeat, let alone talk about any health concerns. Sure, he's got a sore left ankle, but he tends to generalize, and when it comes to excuses, they simply aren't a part of his repertoire.
We all know he's beat up. It's the playoffs. After a rigorous 82-game schedule, most NBA players should be sore. Kyrie Irving's body is worse. The right side of his body needs a tune-up, and his right knee and foot are pestering him. Still, the dude managed to pop 25 last night.
Physically, he may be a mere shade of himself, but he's still efficient enough to serve as a complement to James.
And LeBron was a beast.
He knows his team needs him to score more if they're to have any chance at surviving this brutal series. So, he tallied 38 points in this one.
He was extremely efficient and didn't once turn over the ball. He did everything he possibly could to salvage the season at what was the Cavs' most important game to date. Why? The geeks say winners of Game 5 go on to win a series 81% of the time.
LeBron isa calculated dude, so I'm sure he knew the probability of losing if his team got into a 3-2 hole.
Pau Gasol is back for Game 6, so the Cavs' task remains tough. And extended series just provides more opportunity for another Cav to physically break down.
And we all know, the Cavs are already on life support.