LeBron James‘ former partner on the Heat, Dwyane Wade, sat home for the 2015 NBA Playoffs. But rather than stew at what could have been, the Heat were eliminated in the last week of the regular season, he took the time after Cleveland captured the Eastern Conference crown last night to congratulate his friend and former teammate on his team’s accomplishment.
No one knows how hard it is to make the NBA Finals for a consecutive half decade like Wade, who was one year short after he and LeBron played in June during each of James’ four seasons in Miami. There’s an incredible amount of stamina needed and a lot more luck than most NBA prognosticators are willing to admit.
Plus, the Cavs were down Kevin Love since Game 3 against Boston, and Kyrie Irving was just a husk of his All-NBA self after foot and knee injuries sidelined him for all but two games in the Eastern Conference Finals. All this augments LeBron’s accomplishment even more and adds a sheen of wonder to just how instrumental he was in getting past the Hawks. Then there are the all-around offensive numbers Elias gives us about James’ near triple-double in the four wins over the No. 1 seed in the East:
LeBron James finished the Cavaliers’ four-game sweep over the Hawks averaging 30.3 points, 11 rebounds and 9.3 assists per game. James is the first player in NBA history to average 30/10/9 in a playoff series of any length. Honorable mention to Oscar Robertson who averaged 33.4 points, 12.4 rebounds and 8.6 assists for Cincinnati against Boston in a seven-game series in 1963.
That’s insane. What an absolutely Herculean effort from LBJ to send the Cavs back to the Finals for the first time since he brought an equally under-manned Cavs squad to the Finals in 2007.