The King Continues His Postseason Dominance What We Can Expect From LeBron James in Round Two

Michael Tom, Maroon-News Staff

At 33-years-old, each season that ends without a ring feels like wasted time for The King. LeBron James has always valued winning and championships over individual performance, and yet his lack of rings is the only way in which he falls short when compared to the likes of Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant. 

Since the Cavaliers barely scraped out a first-round series win against the Pacers, will they ultimately add a ring, or fall to the electrifying first-seed Toronto Raptors? What will be next for LeBron if and when they lose in the 2018 NBA playoffs?

As instrumental as James was to Cleveland in the first round, it will take more than His Highness to survive in the rest of the postseason. Through the first six games against the Pacers, 37-year-old Kyle Korver was the most consistent second-option in terms of scoring efficiency. 

Lackluster performances from Kevin Love, Rodney Hood and J.R. Smith may have been forgivable against the Pacers, but they will surely lead to the Cavaliers’ doom moving forward. 

It has been a weird season for Cleveland, beginning with trading away Kyrie Irving and then completely remanufacturing the team right before the trade deadline. The glue that kept this mess together has been LeBron, but what is the point of maintaining a dysfunctional product? When the Cavaliers are knocked out, the world will anxiously wait as LeBron ponders his future going into the 2018 NBA offseason.

At the end of the season, LeBron will have the choice to opt out of his current contract and head elsewhere. In the fifteenth season of his NBA career, James is arguably playing his best basketball ever. During the 2017-2018 season he averaged 27.5 points per game and shot 54.2 percent from the field – both marks ranking within the top five of his best season averages. Furthermore, he posted a career high 9.1 assists per game. This is a circumstance we rarely see not just in the NBA but in all of pro sports. Like a fine wine, LeBron James is just getting better with age.

With LeBron’s top priority being championships, and his promise to Cleveland already fulfilled, the King will likely join another team in the summer of 2018. Rumors include the Los Angeles Lakers, the San Antonio Spurs, the Philadelphia 76ers and even a reunion in South Beach with the Miami Heat. 

The last time LeBron departed he left the organization in tatters with no contingency plan. If the events of summer 2010 were to repeat themselves in summer 2018, the franchise would be in huge trouble.

To protect their future, the Cavaliers’ front office has done everything they can to appease LeBron and entice him to stay, while standing firm on not using their first-round pick (acquired from Brooklyn) in any deals. 

Should the Cavaliers fall short this year, the King will likely leave inevitably changing the landscape of the league and the Cleveland Cavaliers franchise. 

Contact Michael Tom at [email protected]