There are only two explanations for LeBron James' play in this series against the Celtics: It's either his elbow or his attitude. Either the King is more injured than anyone is admitting, or his bags are already packed and the moving van is on its way.
Given James' team-first mentality throughout his career, it's hard to believe he'd quit on his teammates now.
That leaves the elbow.
He is tired of talking about it. We're tired of asking about it. Fans are sick of hearing about it. But when he had four full days to rest his ailing arm, James responded with his best performance of the series: 38 points, eight rebounds and seven assists in a vintage James performance in Game 3. He scored 21 in the first quarter and looked unstoppable as the Cavs took what seemed to be command of the series.
James also had about four full days of rest and treatment between the end of the Bulls series -- when all of this elbow talk surfaced with his left-handed free throw -- and Game 1 against Boston, when James opened the series with 35 points, seven rebounds and seven assists.
That's two games on four days' rest with averages of 36.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and seven assists.
James has played the other three games of this series with just one day of rest in between. In those games, he has averaged 20.3 points, 7.3 rebounds and 6.3 assists.
The elbow doesn't affect his rebounds and assists, but it certainly seems to be affecting his shot. James is shooting 36 percent from the floor (17 of 47) in the three games with short rest. He shot 57 percent (26 of 46) in Games 1 and 3 combined, when he had four days off in between.
The bad news is that Game 6 comes after one day of rest. The worse news is it might be James' final game in a Cavaliers uniform.
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