James finished with 23 points, 9 rebounds, and 7 assists last night. Once again he lead the way for the undermanned Cavs. Although his stats tell us he had a good game, they don't tell us about his full impact.
Since the Cavaliers shifted around the players on their roster at the trade deadline, LeBron has taken charge and made everyone around him better. Reports even indicated that he was calling the plays for his team instead of David Blatt. In addition, the team has been able to mesh perfectly and make the most out of every player. Who would have predicted Matthew Dellavedova would be a podium player in the playoffs? Much of Cleveland's unexpected successful players has to be attributed to LeBron.
After suffering with injury through the beginning of the series, Kyrie Irving played a good game last night. He finished with 16 points, 5 assists, and 4 rebounds. Although it was not even close to the best he can play, it was great news for the Cavs. He now has until June 4th to prepare his body for the Finals. At that point, Irving will be able to ignore any pain and will be able to play great not just good, but great.
Another crucial piece for Cleveland in their playoff run has been Tristan Thompson. Last night he dropped 16 points and 11 rebounds, 5 of which were offensive. Against the Celtics in the first round, Thompson was a main reason that the Cavs were so successful on the offensive end. He consistently grabbed offensive boards and kept plays alive for them. Then, against the Bulls he was solid in the paint against Joakim Noah and Pau Gasol without the help of Kevin Love. Now, against the Hawks he not only carried his load by grabbing rebounds, he also helped out by scoring the ball. Against the Warriors in the Finals, he will have to be able to bring the best of both worlds in order for the Cavs to succeed.
Tonight, the Warriors play Houston in game 5 of the Western Conference Finals. With a win, they will clinch their spot to fight Cleveland in the NBA Finals. The Cavaliers will surely be watching the game, and studying the Warriors' highly efficient offense. In the Finals, it will become interesting to see if LeBron can lift his teammates up to the level of the mighty Warriors.