Published: Sat, May 26, 2018
Sports | By Ivan Ross

LeBron James and the Twilight of the Cavaliers

LeBron James and the Twilight of the Cavaliers

Days after seeing Cleveland face elimination, debate on why Cavaliers coach Lue benched the Cavs third best player Kyle Korver most of Game 5 where Boston took a 96-83 win and went ahead, 3-2, in their best-of-seven NBA Eastern Conference finals continued.

After being in a team-wide slump for the past three games, the Celtics had a much better overall offensive performance. Jayson Tatum looked like a veteran out there as he led the team with 24 points, seven rebounds, four assists, four steals and two blocks, Jaylen Brown added 17 points while Al Horford chipped in with 15 points and 12 rebounds.

The Cavaliers' role players really failed to show up in Game 5 so it's no surprise that the Celtics were able to win so easily in the end. That includes Tristan Thompson, 27, who had a pathetic game five scoring only one point in 26 minutes of play. James has done this a few times and has the media savvy to know not to provide a headline that could be construed as excuse-making. All game long, the Cavaliers toggled between the suburbs and exurbs of contention, before moving decisively to distant rural reaches in the last six minutes. Let's also remember Jordan only played in one more postseason after his age 33 one and try to forget the years he wore a Washington jersey as a shell of his former self.

Each contest has held true to the same basic formula of the home team dominating and winning comfortably.

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Also on the line is James' consecutive Finals streak.

In game five, ESPN made it a point to keep showing the fatigue that LeBron was facing throughout the game.

Tatum stayed in the game. If this group, with Love or without him, has anything left Sunday, buckle up.

Aside from a coach in Brad Stevens who is sculpturing his own legendary status, a 20-year-old rookie has put on his grown man shoes and is showing the world just why Celtics president of basketball operations passed on the No. 1 pick overall to select Tatum. I think that is a lot to ask. "I think he's just starting to see his potential".

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"I can't say that on camera". "He's going to continue to get better".

Cavaliers: Improved to 6-2 in elimination game since 2015.

- Finally, if Tatum scores 41 more points, he'll set the new record for most postseason points by a rookie.

Other than Kevin Love, the rest of the Cavaliers have been AWOL this series when traveling outside of the Cleveland city limits.

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