The Cavs haven’t lost against Detroit in the opening round of the playoffs this season, and LeBron hasn’t lost in the opening round of the playoffs since the Knicks and Melo got a win off him and Miami in the opening round of the 2012 Playoffs. That’s two titles and four Finals appearances ago. That’s domination. But this year’s opening round hasn’t been without trouble, and that’s likely why LeBron was so emphatic on defense at the end of Cleveland’s Game 3 victory.
You see, first we called attention to all the shortcomings of his squad after his team’s Game 1 win. Then, Stan Van Gundy and Co. said he was charging into defenders and should be called for more offensive fouls. The percolating anger was already evident in the way he ripped the iron to start Game 2.
Even when he stroked a three-pointer, he still found a way to be disrespected. Then Stanley Johnson, a rookie for Christ’s sake, ran his mouth about being in LeBron’s head after a Game 2 Cavs win where LeBron was 12-of-18 from the field. That’s to say nothing of the purported Pistons elbows thrown his way.
So is it any surprise that when Reggie Jackson tried to drive for a nothing layup to pad his stats at the end of Game 3, LeBron was gonna go all LeBron on him?
Of course not.
Whoever faces Cavs in the East as they march towards LeBron’s sixth consecutive appearance in the NBA Finals, can thank the Pistons for adding this bit of unnecessary oomph to that quest.