Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James proved on Sunday night that he is ready to put his team on his back and lead them to an NBA championship this season.
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If his 44-point performance in Game 1 wasn’t enough of a warning, the Warriors were served another on Sunday as the four-time MVP put up 39 points, 16 rebounds and 11 assists in a monster performance.
Even with both Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love out injured, the 30-year-old is capable of taking up the challenge and proving that the Warriors depth won’t necessarily be the deciding factor in the series.
Although there should be some concern over the number of minutes that James is logging, he played 50 minutes in Game 2, if he can battle fatigue and come out on top, there is no denying him.
Golden State thought that they may have found the answer to nullify the Cavs’ overall threat in the first encounter, but they were made to pay for their poor offensive showing with Stephen Curry struggling in particular.
The reigning league MVP went 5-of-23 from the field as he couldn’t find a way past Matthew Dellavedova when the Australian was his primary defender, and although James will steal all the headlines his team are certainly battling hard on the defensive end to put him in a position to go out and win the game for them.
The Finals now switch to Cleveland for Games 3 and 4, and it remains to be seen whether or not the shift in momentum will make the difference or if the Warriors will bounce back from their poor display and take back the initiative.
Further, it is unclear as to how much of a toll this is taking on James physically, and his play in Game 3 will certainly give his team the inspiration they need to go out and take the series lead.
Curry will be under pressure to bounce back as the scrutiny surrounding him ramps up a level, but all eyes will be on James and whether or not the Warriors can stop him.
Harrison Barnes and Andre Iguodala took turns in trying to slow him down for the most part on Sunday, with the likes of Draymond Green and Andrew Bogut chipping in where possible.
While it worked for Cleveland in Game 2, it is still difficult to see them being able to maintain that intensity and win another three games without two of their biggest stars.
However, give LeBron the chance to win the game and he will happily accept. The two-time NBA champion is relishing the underdog tag, and he is ready to defy the odds and secure his place in the history books for what could be the best run of performances across a Finals ever.