The Cleveland Cavaliers have a chance to advance to the second round of the NBA playoffs with a win over the Indiana Pacers on Sunday afternoon.
The game has the potential to be a series clincher because the Pacers blew a 25-point lead Thursday night at Conseco Fieldhouse.
Not surprisingly, LeBron James led the charge, posting a triple-double with 41 points, 13 rebounds and 12 assists against an Indiana squad that seemed powerless to stop him.
The King’s latest tour de force also ushered in what has become a new rite of spring: People writing about how underappreciated James is.
The Sporting News picked up that baton, pretending the defending NBA champions are essentially LeBron and a bunch of misfits and has-beens.
While James’ greatness is undeniable, I find it sort of amazing how super teams are put together around him every year but seem to be reduced to a band of role players at best by the spring.
But then one of the problems with LeBron coming of age in this era is that finding an appreciation equilibrium for his game and career is proving to be just about impossible.
Knocking down his teammates becomes a necessary part of praising him in that case.
READ MORE in Marcus Hartman’s “Sports Today” column
On one side there are those who do hold him to an impossible standard, although I’m not sure how many of those people are actually credible media members.
The social media din tends to be a jumble of reactions from all sorts of sources, many not worth thinking about twice.
But then the blowback for those critiques often goes too far in the other direction, which restarts the cycle when the haters have to have their retort.
I try to be content to watch the second-best player of all time do his thing, but the never-ending narrative battles get tiresome.