LeBron James' incredible 51 point performance took the Cavaliers to the brink of an unlikely road win against the Warriors in game one of the 2018 NBA Finals.
The four-time MVP shot 59.4% from the field and added eight boards and eight assists in an other-worldly showing that should've been enough to earn his team a stunning victory in Oakland.
As it was, a missed go-ahead free-throw by George Hill with four seconds on the clock, followed by an inexplicable play by the ever enigmatic JR Smith, cost the King what would've gone down as one of the great single game victories in Finals history. The Warriors eventually earned a 124-114 overtime win but the overwhelming narrative of the evening will continue to be about what could've been for Cleveland.
Nevertheless, James' unrivalled excellence didn't go unnoticed as media members, fans, and even members of the Warriors staff heralded his barely comprehensible performance in willing his team to the point of victory.
Those in attendance at the Oracle Arena witnessed one of the great individual Finals showings, and it was Warriors head coach Steve Kerr who ensured that everybody knew just how great the Cavaliers phenom was, and has been throughout the playoffs this year.
"They have a guy who's playing basketball at a level that I'm not sure anyone's ever seen before when you consider everything he's doing." Kerr said of James via House of Highlights.
And, despite the 33-year-old scoring 45% of his team's points, the Warriors coach actually praised James' supporting cast, saying they're a “really good group of teammates” and “really hard to guard.”
Kevin Love's 21 points and 13 boards on his return from the concussion that ruled him out of game seven of the Eastern Conference Finals did help the Cavs keep pace with Golden State at key times.
Other than Love, only JR Smith reached double figures but the former Knick shot just 30% from the field in a typically erratic performance typified by his bizarre involvement in the final play of the fourth quarter.
James' incredible postseason will likely only look more impressive when one looks back and considers how awful his teammates have been at times, despite what Kerr might say about their respective talents.
Additionally, the magnitude of the 2016 NBA coach of the year's comments regarding James' ability on the court should not be understated. Kerr played with, and won three titles with Michael Jordan and the Bulls.
For him to say that James' level right now is one that hasn't 'ever been seen before' is an enormous statement, and one that should certainly be taken into consideration amongst the many pro-LeBron arguments in the greatest of all time conversation.
The long-lasting debate will never truly get a definitive answer, but Kerr certainly seemed to point towards LeBron's ability as a player being better than anyone in the history of the game, inclusive of MJ.News Now - Sport News