noun - 1. a. The act or an instance of elevating. - The Free Dictionary
I think I mentioned a couple of posts ago how Lebron James wouldn't be intimidated by a raucous Boston crowd.
Oops, maybe I was a bit off there. Could it have been the MVP voting?
Here's a guy who in his short history has demonstrated the ability to elevate his game to levels touched only by the likes of Micheal, Magic and Bird. Last night, there was no elevation, it was sub-basement all the way, with 10 turnovers, 2-18 shooting, and a failure to deliver in the clutch.
This was one Cleveland needed to have.. Opportunities like this don't come by often. Of Boston's Tri-Core, only KG was golden last night, superb at crunch time.
By contrast, Mike Brown of the Cavs did an awful coaching job. Two keys in the game:
1) Late in the third quarter, with Cleveland fighting back to take a six point lead, he sits James down with his fourth foul. He also substitutes out just about anyone who can score, bringing in the likes of Varejao, Wallace, Smith, Gibson, and Pavlovic. Gibson's the only reliable scorer of that bunch, and Boston clamps down to take a two point lead into the fourth.
2) Late in the fourth, with the score tied, Brown leaves Joe Smith to play KG in single coverage down low. Ticket takes him straight to the basket and scores to take a two point lead.
These were momentum shifters; his stud didn't have it going, and only one of Boston's did. Brown's adjustments to those situations were poor at best.
Still, Cleveland fought hard, it was a tough. defensive playoff game, a game they could have stolen if James could have found a way to lift his game to at least ground level. Three of his supporting cast--Z, Wally and Gibson--played well enough last night to provide plenty of help. Unlike Boston however, they aren't the types who can step in and carry the team when the superstar falters. In that respect, the Cavs are looking like the old KG-led Wolves more and more.