LeBron James has been really great for a really long time, but it seems like he’s playing the best basketball of his career right now. Yes, he’s only shooting 39.9 percent in the NBA Finals, but he’s averaging 36.6 points, 12.4 rebounds, 8.8 assists and 1.2 steals. He’s also scored 40+ points in three of the four games and scored 39 in another.
So, what is James doing right now that sets him apart from even his previous personal brilliance?
“Well, I think LeBron James continues to set the bar very high for himself,” Cavs legend Campy Russell said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “Even though he’s playing outstanding basketball right now, I’m sure LeBron James – because of his work ethic and because of his basketball IQ and his strength and size – I believe he’s going to have some more gears to go to. So yes, he’s having a phenomenal playoff series here, but I think he has a lot more to go, and I’m sure you’re going to see that as the years go by. LeBron James is just a tremendous talent, and he has this great will to take himself to a different level. So I don’t think we have seen the last of LeBron, there’s no question. Because he has this great ability. We’re going to see some more greatness in LeBron James.”
That’s right. Russell believes James, 30, will get even better in the coming years.
“I see LeBron James being able to get wherever he wants to go – again because of his ability to work at his craft, his ability to make other people around him better,” Russell said. “I just look at it this way: getting Kevin Love back next year healthy, getting Kyrie healthy next year, having Anderson Varejao with us next year, getting a draft choice or whatever that may be will definitely allow this team to be relevant for some years to come. That’s how I look at it. So yes, there’s no doubt that LeBron James will get better, as well as this team will become even better, particularly once it gets back at full strength in the years to come.”
Cavs fans hope James can be even better than he has been Tuesday night, as Cleveland hosts Golden State in Game 6 of the NBA Finals. The Cavs have lost back-to-back games by a combined 34 points to the Warriors, but Cleveland hasn’t lost hope.
“Right now, we’re facing what we are facing,” Russell said. “I still believe that with a player like LeBron James – and missing all those people we just talked about – I still think we have an opportunity here. We have to make sure we can win (Game 6) by being more physical, by making shots. I think if you make shots and continue to play the defense we’ve played, I think it gives us a chance to win. If you get to a seventh game, anything can happen. That’s the Ohio version of understanding that we still have a chance.”