Photo courtesy of the Chicago Tribune
By: Ross Sutton
Lebron had yet another fabulous game last night in game 7 against the Celtics as he scored 35 points, grabbed 15 rebounds, and had 9 assists. This is obviously extremely impressive and it is incredible that Lebron has made this statline an every night occurence in the playoffs. That being said, everyone wants to crown Lebron as the G.O.A.T. for carrying such a bad supporting cast to the Finals, but I do not think that this series or playoffs have proved that at all whatsoever. Let’s take a look at the juggernaut teams that Lebron has beaten during this year’s playoffs.
First off, the Pacers. People seem to have already forgotten the fact that Lebron barely made it past the first round this year, as the Pacers pushed the Cavs all the way to game seven. So who did the Pacers have on this incredible team that almost beat Lebron and the Cavs? Victor Oladipo and Bojan Bogdanovic. Oladipo is no slouch as he had a breakout year this year but other than Oladipo, the supporting cast of the Pacers might be as bad as the Cavaliers’. It took Lebron seven games to beat this team, not very impressive.
Then, Lebron and the Cavs steamrolled the mentally weak Raptors. The sweep is legit and I can’t possibly knock Lebron for sweeping the one seed, but the Raptors never seem to show up in the playoffs so this does not make me want to declare Lebron as the greatest of all time.
Finally, the injured and battered Celtics showed up in the Western Conference Finals and pushed Lebron to another game seven. People also seem to forget that the Celtics don’t have two of the best players in the league active as Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward were both out due to injuries as they have been for quite some time now. This leaves the Celtics with Jayson Tatum, Al Horford, Jaylen Brown, and Terry Rozier as their core group that was tasked with facing Lebron. The Celtics are incredibly well-coached by Brad Stevens so they were able to get past the young 76ers in the second round and everyone made it seem like the Celtics were the best team ever. So now that Lebron has gotten past a team that were led by a rookie (Tatum), everyone seems to think this makes Lebron the G.O.A.T., but I don’t see how this series can lead one to that conclusion. I cannot see how it is so incredible that Lebron barely squeaked by Jayson Tatum despite the refs calling every touch foul when Lebron had the ball in his hands. Lebron also had EIGHT turnovers in this game. That’s not exactly great. Lebron is clearly the best player in the world and has an insane effect on the outcome of every game he plays in but I think people need to take a step back before declaring that Lebron is the G.O.A.T. and at least wait for him to lose to the Warriors in five games in the Finals before building their shrines of him. It also seems crazy to me that people that never even saw Jordan play are at the forefront of the “Lebron is the G.O.A.T.” campaign, but maybe I’m the crazy one.
Stats courtesy of CBS Sports
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