Since Adam Silver wouldn’t allow the Sixers to fire Bryan Colangelo ahead of Game 2 of the NBA Finals, we might as well settle down and enjoy the game for an evening. Thursday night’s Game 1 exceeded all reasonable expectations for both competitiveness and drama. LeBron James set the record for most points in a Finals game by a member of the losing team, putting forth a transcendent 51 point, 8 rebound, 8 assist performance. If that sounds like the type of guy you might hope Philadelphia signs in free agency this summer, maybe the team should part ways with the executive LeBron is openly mocking in media availability.
Of course, a lot of crazy stuff went down in the final minutes of regulation for LeBron’s greatness to still come on the losing side. We saw some questionable officiating, the first block/charge call that I can ever remember being changed via video review that didn’t involve the restricted circle, and obviously, the J.R. Smith blunder in the closing seconds.
There is something deliciously ironic in the fact that J.R. Smith, a player who has never met a shot he didn’t like, will now forever best be remembered for a play he should have shot the ball and didn’t. The photo of LeBron pointing toward the basket in bewilderment will probably still be in use when we transition to a post-internet method of communication as a society.
At least when arguing for him as the GOAT years from now, LeBron’s supporters will have a ready-made sequence to put a bow on the “LeBron didn’t have any help” argument. Right now, I’m sure King James would much rather not have seen Cleveland’s best chance of stealing a road win in this Finals slip through their fingers.
It’s highly unlikely Game 2 will turn out as iconic as Game 1, but we might still see some competitive basketball. Follow along and discuss all the action in the comments below.