Mind Over Matter: 5 Reasons LeBron's Hunger Outweighs The Warriors' Talent
Cleveland is no longer the "mistake on a lake" in America.
LeBron James and the Cavaliers have taken a commanding 2-1 lead on the Warriors, and critics have to start wondering, "Is this the plan LeBron had for Cleveland all along?"
It would actually be more fitting to name this article "LeBron Vs. The World," simply because he's spearheading Cleveland's dominant performance.
A good portion of NBA fans want to see this Warriors team take a ring from the King, but he's simply not having it.
Here are a few good reasons why:
1. LeBron is just hungry.
It's all in his hands; he's been here before. It's safe to say he knows how to handle these types of situations.
If you watch the highlights, LeBron has the ball in his hands as the ball handler on all pick-and-roll situations. More often than not, he's making the right decisions.
LeBron is also on track to have a record-breaking finals series. His 123 points through three Finals games are the most points ever in the first three games. He's averaging an insane 41 ppg.
He's not just scoring, either. LeBron is responsible for about 70 percent of all of Cleveland's points this series. He wants his team to be involved, too.
2. He's doing whatever it takes to bring an NBA championship to his city.
With Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love injured, LeBron's role expands. Head Coach David Blatt remarked, "We've got 40 to 45 points either in street clothes on our bench or in a hospital bed (referring to Love and Irving)."
Those key players missing this finals series is the reason LeBron messed around and got a triple double the other night in Game 2. He had 39 points, 16 rebounds and 12 assists.
He's the only player since Jerry West to record a triple double with at least 39 points and now has five Finals triple-doubles. It's the second all-time record, behind Magic Johnson's eight.
He's also averaging 37 shots a game. Some criticize him for the amount of shots he's taking. But, he's doing it because he has to.
It's out of my character, but I have no choice. I have no choice. And it's not like I'm going out and I'm just casting shots, I'm pulling up in transition or I'm just throwing things up there. I'm just trying to put pressure on the defense and let my teammates know that I'm just going to go, no matter how it's going. And I don't like to shoot this much.
Kobe Bryant stands up for himself as a shot taker and acknowledges his shortcomings because he believes that's what winners do.
While he might actually like to shoot more than LeBron does, he knows that in leading the team, shooting is something LeBron will have to do.
3. Delly continues to impress.
We still don't know exactly what LeBron told Matthew Dellavedova the fateful night Kyrie got hurt, but man, this kid is putting on a show.
Statistically one of the worst players ever to see big minutes in the Finals, the Australian-born, nitty-gritty point guard is playing his best when it matters most. LeBron must have something to do with that.
Delly is just more evidence that LeBron can take a team of average to below-average players and make them all great.
4. There's an historic tale to come out of all of this.
LeBron's jersey was burned after his departure from Cleveland, but his return might've been more epic than his decision to leave.
That same jersey is ornamental around the city of Cleveland now, and it's arguable that never before in NBA history has a player been celebrated by a city in such a unique turn of events.
For him to win a championship for this city would be a remarkable feat of mental and physical endurance.
Jeff Van Gundy claims it'll be the "greatest accomplishment he's ever seen."
King James has become famous for assembling these super-teams, first with Chris Bosh and D-Wade in Miami, and now with Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love.
But, losing his two star teammates this post-season hasn't seemed to affect him in the slightest.
He's playing on a level that even if they were to lose the series, he could quite possibly be the first NBA Finals MVP to lose the Finals, since our NBA logo-man, Jerry West, in 1969.
5. Golden State has never seen playoff LeBron.
The Warriors have a roster that is deep in numbers and dangerously talented.
But, despite what regular season matchups may show, the Warriors -- aside from their series against Memphis -- really haven't faced this type of adversity all season.
Piggybacking on that is the fact that most of their roster doesn't have any Finals experience, and well, you might start to fear for the Warriors' chances.
Draymond Green commented on their style of play during this series, saying the intensity isn't there.
Being one of their most intense players, he's right to admit that. Green says:
I'm willing to bet if our intensity level is higher, the shots go in. If you cut a little harder, that shot falls. If you attack the rim a little harder, that shot will go down. I think everything is due to our intensity level, whether it's our shooting, turnovers, whatever. If we raise our intensity level, that cuts out 50 percent of the problems.
The Warriors have their backs against the wall being down 2-1. The only problem is, the Cavs are playing like they're down 3-0. It's hard to match that intensity, let alone beat it.
The Warriors have to come out with a little extra pep in their step. The King is knocking on the doors of greatness, and he doesn't seem to have any desire to stop here.