#NBAFinals: Help Wanted

No man is an island.
(Image by: Associated Press)

If you're reading this post, chances are, you watched most (if not all) of the 2015 NBA Finals. If that's the case, then you saw with your own two eyes the best player in the NBA. NO, he wasn't on the Golden State Warriors, and NO, he definitely was not the Finals MVP. He played for the losing team, the Cleveland Cavaliers. In most cases, he played alone.

This series went 6 games instead of a sweep for the Warriors. That was a small miracle. The Cavs were up 2-1 early and threatened to take control of the series because of LeBron James. If you are a Warriors' fan or supporter, you were probably worried that the Dubs might actually lose the finals. The series was close because of LBJ!

The 2015 NBA Finals was hailed as the most watched finals since Michael Jordan last participated in one during 1998. It was exciting and competitive because of the unparalleled brilliance of LeBron James. Would you still watch most of the Finals if the Dubs hammered the Cavs by at least 30 points in every game? Most probably not.

LBJ carried a bunch of role players (and garbage players) within 2 games of the finish line. His coach was very inexperienced and got thoroughly dismantled by the opposing coaching staff. Coach Blatt gave Timofey Mozgov limited action in Game 5 and Blatt stuck with a very short 7-man rotation for most of the finals. Yet, the Cavs were always within striking distance. Yup, that was because of LBJ.

Funny but true. 
LeBron James delivered an epic performance for the Finals, one for the history books. He averaged about 36 points, 13 rebounds and 9 assists. He was the team leader in almost all statistical categories including playing 46 minutes per game. He had 2 triple-doubles and 3 double-doubles. He helped Matthew Dellavedova become a key contributor in Game 3. Delly was relevant for his scoring in that game and not for just his physical play and hustle. Additionally, Mozgov and Tristan Thompson occasionally looked like All-Stars because of LBJ.

Unfortunately, most of the Cavs played like trash during the Finals. Iman Shumpert and JR Smith kept hoisting shots that rarely hit their marks. The other bench players hardly got the chance to play and possibly contribute. It was actually a big surprise that LBJ managed to average 9 assists with his supporting cast. No one was even close to LBJ in the passing game, not even regular season MVP Steph Curry who averaged over 6 assists per game as a point guard in the Finals.

By the way, LeBron James also plays defense. He guarded just about everyone on the Warriors while still grabbing rebounds and pushing the ball in transition. Heck, maybe he even did some coaching during timeouts!?

Tough to win with all of that baggage

Even with LBJ bringing the Cavs this far, there will always be a TON of haters. This guy transformed a lottery team into a Finals contender. There's even talk that the Cavs are favorites next year. I don't understand why a lot of people/critics are hating and bashing him for displaying amazing numbers during the Finals. Can't they just appreciate his greatness and inhuman talents? This guy is a once in a lifetime talent. Players LOVE to play with him.

Haters will bring up his 2-4 record in the Finals and that's okay. However, they seem to miss the fact that LBJ has carried teams to the Finals 6 times (and counting). Other superstars have yet to play in ONE NBA Finals. More haters will say that he does not have the same number of rings like Jordan or Kobe. That's fine and well. But to say that Kobe is better than LBJ is another topic for debate. I will acknowledge that MJ is the GOAT but I strongly disagree that Kobe > LBJ. How many times did Kobe lead his team to the Finals? Twice, when he had Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom with him. During the early 2000s, it was Shaq who led the Lakers.

Haters will focus on him saying that he is the "best player in the world". What's wrong with saying the truth and being honest? I don't think he was being too cocky or arrogant. He was just confident and he was trying to encourage and motivate himself and his team. Kobe and MJ were cocky and arrogant too. Those guys talked a lot of thrash as well. Did the haters forget that? Furthermore, MJ and Kobe had a lot of help. LBJ had a lot of help in Miami. This year with the Cavs, he barely had ANY help.

MJ and Kobe had a LOT of help
Let's give LBJ a break... even if it's just for the coming off-season. Save your vitriol for next season when the Cavs do this all over again. You can count on that.

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