LeBron’s performance last night in his team’s biggest game of the season was, above anything else, confusing.
The reigning 2-time MVP played a passive, almost disinterested game (15 points on 3/14 shooting), and as a result, his Cavs are now on the brink of elimination.
While most of the blame for the shocking collapse falls in James’ lap (and rightly so), team owner Dan Gilbert is wondering about the rest of his employees. Speaking to the Plain Dealer in the wee hours of this morning, Gilbert questions Cleveland’s resolve and will to win:
“Our entire franchise has done everything in its power to put all of our players and its coaching staff in the best possible position to execute when it counts,” Gilbert said. “And to deliver to the highly supportive fans of Cleveland a proud, intense, impassioned all-out drive to achieve a championship.”
“The last two home playoff losses and the manner in which we lost these games does not come close to being anywhere near the high expectations all of us have of our organization. Our fans and supporters deserve more. Above all, the fans of the Cleveland Cavaliers, as well as the entire franchise, deserve and need our players and coaches to dig deep within themselves,” Gilbert said.
Despite his disappointment in the losses, Gilbert, who is known for his optimism, said he’s confident his team will be able to rebound in Game 6. “We have to ask ourselves two questions,” he said. “Will we remember who we are and choose to impose our will on our opponent for the remainder of this series and beyond? And how much do we want it? I believe in our players, our coaching staff and our entire franchise. This series is not over.”
During an equally bizarre performance during the postgame press conference, LeBron said he’s not worried about where his team stands at the moment, and Shaq pointed out the obvious by saying the Cavs just need to win the next two games.
The entire state of Ohio is in shock right now. Starting Thursday night, LeBron James and the rest of the Cavs need to give them reason not to completely jump off the ledge.