ESNY

Game 5 of the NBA Finals can feature anything from a dominant performance from the Splash Brothers to LeBron’s greatness on full display.

By Robby Sabo

Right about this time NBA commissioner Adam Silver is counting his lucky stars for LeBron James.

The reason? Well, because the 2015 NBA Playoffs were a downright disaster. This tournament featured injuries, horrid play and very unexciting basketball. 1nba2

So, having LeBron do what he’s done with these pitiful Cleveland Cavaliers has to warrant a Silver Christmas card to the James’ residence this December.


And thanks to the herculean effort from the future Hall of Fame James, these 2015 NBA Finals has featured the unexpected.

First, once it was revealed Kyrie Irving would miss the remainder of the season, and the Cavs allowed Game 1 to slip away, the entire hoops world proclaimed the Golden State Warriors champs.

Then, playing on absolute fumes, Matthew Dellavedova and James hustled and gritted their way to two straight wins – only to see Golden State resume control like we all though they would.

It’s now obvious: Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and the rest of the boys will continue this momentum on Sunday night. Right?

Well, be careful. If there’s one thing these finals have proved, it’s that LeBron is superhuman and the grittier team will, more often than not, force the other team to play their game.

Swinging back to the west coast is just what the doctor ordered for the Warriors. Oracle Arena is a place that Steve Kerr’s squad has only lost four-times all season long (inlcuding playoffs).

Speaking of Kerr, his Game 4 adjustment of allowing Shaun Livingston to create all sorts of headaches for the out-gunned Cavs squad was brilliant. It’s something that David Blatt unfortunately just doesn’t have the ammo to counter.

After all, a team that can only go seven-deep will eventually run out of gas and need to head to the hospital for serious cramping issues.

Which brings us back to James.

The only chance Cleveland has to steal Game 5 and setup what would most likely be the most viewed NBA Finals game in history – Tuesday night in Cleveland with the city yearning for their first championship since 1964 – is if he comes up with one of those “career defining” moments.

Anything less than career defining for LeBron won’t be good enough.

He’ll need to score, distribute, be rough under the boards, and most importantly, show the heart this squad so desperately needs.

The only chance this rag-tag and undermanned group has is if LeBron does the unthinkable: raises his game and the talent of others around him to previously unseen heights.

If he cannot, then the Game 6 in Cleveland opportunity to close-out was never meant to be.

Call me crazy, but I’m sticking with my own script and going with the Cavs in 6. 17-years ago today, Michael Jordan capped off his amazing Chicago Bulls career with his “last shot” over Byron Russell and the Utah Jazz.

It’s now time for James to put his career defining imprint on The Association.

Game 5 tips off tonight on ABC from Oakland.

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Founder of Elite Sports NY---Former strong safety, point guard and 400-meter hustler. Remembers Matteau, the Dunk, the Yankees on MSG, Mr. Conn Smythe Leetch and Chrebet's fearless ways. E-Mail: robsabo10@elitesportsny.com