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LeBron & The Cavs Fall Short

June 18, 2015

It easily was one of the most dominant NBA Finals performances the game has ever seen. But for the fourth time in six Finals appearances, LeBron James ended up on the wrong side of the score.

This time, James fell to the upstart Golden State Warriors. LeBron did not disappear in these Finals. Hardly. His 32-point, 18-rebound, nine-assist performance wasn’t enough to stop the Golden State Warriors from eliminating the Cavs with a 105-97 victory in Game 6 on Tuesday night.

In his return to the Finals with the Cavaliers team he left in 2010, James was as brilliant as anyone has ever been on this stage -- and more shorthanded, too. So forced to go to battle without All-Stars Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving, not to mention a third starter, Anderson Varejao, this one should not go down as a failure for James. I look at it as a historical one-man stand. James even spoke of all the talent sitting in suits on the Cavs bench while reflecting with the media after the deciding game.

Statistically, James finished one assist shy of his third Finals triple-double, to go with three 40-point games and a 39-point game. He fell one point shy of equaling the record for most 40-point games in the Finals (Jerry West in 1969 and Michael Jordan in ‘93).

Stephen Curry with
LeBron James, Tuesday night

Forced to carry virtually all the offensive load due to the season-ending injuries to Irving and Love, James averaged 35.8 points in the Finals, to go with his 13.3 rebounds and 8.8 assists. He was brilliant throughout the Finals, scoring 44 points in a losing effort in Game 1 and then overwhelming the 67-win Warriors with 39 points, 16 rebounds and 11 assists in a Game 2 victory, just one day after learning that Irving was lost for the series. He backed it up with a 40-point, 12-rebound, eight-assist performance in a 96-91 victory in Game 3 that gave the Cavs a 2-1 series lead. It appeared he temporarily ran out of gas two days later with a series-low 20 points in the Warriors’ 103-82 victory in Game 4. A 40-point triple-double (14 rebounds, 11 assists) followed in Game 5, but it was a 104-91 victory for the Warriors.

It was quite evident that James wore down physically as individual games and the series went on. His normal time on the bench was one to two minutes. As a result, James’ shooting percentage dropped considerably late in games. He would finish with or close to 40 points a night, but it took well over 30 shots to do it. James often had no choice as many of his teammates did not produce at all.

Still, it was a performance to remember and one of the best of all-time. James will take some hits as, on paper, it goes down as another Finals loss. But few, if any, could have taken a roster like LeBron had and come within two games of a NBA title.

Hacking Reaches Major League Baseball

Computer hacking has been in the news more and more these days. Especially of late as the US Government has accused China of hacking into its government personnel files. When that story broke a few weeks back, I never would have thought there would be a similar hack within teams in Major League Baseball.

Yes, Major League Baseball has announced that the FBI and Justice Department are investigating the St. Louis Cardinals for hacking into the Houston Astros’ proprietary database to steal player evaluation and statistical analysis information, among other things.

Obviously, this is potentially serious criminal offense. It makes Deflate-Gate seem trivial.

Look for the story to grow until results are released. But it is safe to understand that something illegal happened. Before you question that, look into the released statement MLB made. The statement says “illegal breach” and not “alleged legal breach.” One word makes a big difference! MLB is acknowledging something illegal happened. This is an actual crime with legal implications. In other words, it’s not just a baseball problem.

Next up is finding out how it actually happened. Was this some sort of detailed hacking effort by the Cardinals? Or was this one rogue employee working on their own at home because they didn’t like working under Astros GM Jeff Luhnow when he was with the Cardinals years ago? Could be, since information being reported is that the offense happened from a computer at a home that some Cardinal officials live in.

Once law enforcement is done with the guilty culprit, commissioner Rob Manfred will step in and he has very broad power. He will use the “best interests of baseball” clause, you can count on it.

It will be interesting because there is zero precedent for this sort of incident in baseball history. That “best interests of baseball” clause gives current commissioner Manfred broad power to do almost anything he wants. Hefty fine? Terminate some Cardinals employees? Ban those involved for life? Force the Cardinals to forfeit some draft picks?

There are still unanswered questions. But I think we will get answers as this story is just starting to heat up. You know the public eats up scandals within sports. Apparently, we are not tired of them yet, like we are with political scandals.

 

 

 

 


 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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