His most treasured granite
I'm still not convinced that the Cavs pose a serious threat here. The Pistons are execution itself; their only possibly weakness comes when they mistake effortlessness for lack of effort. But for the first time in LeBron's endlessly thumbed-through career, I found myself asking myself if I believed. If Gilbert/LeBron was faith versus immanence, with this Pistons series the tables have turned. In the same way that LeBron is on track to take his place among the most accomplished and versatile players who ever stalked the court, the Pistons stand for nothing if not winning as its own identity. For the Cavs to have gained any footing in this series means that, as never before, the destiny of King James remains as hazy and self-determining as that of the game's great quixote, Arenas.
All through his three years in the Association, everything with LeBron has been a matter of astounding fulfillment—astounding not only because of his abiliy to meet unreasonable expectations, but also for his taming of the unpredictable nature of a life in sports. If he's seemed at times scripted or anticlimactic, this quality certainly never comes off as a Kobe-esque contrivance. On the contrary, while Kobe seeks to impose his will on the world and then groom himself accordingly, it sometimes seems as if all things were molded elsewhere to accomodate LeBron in advance. Thus far, his greatness has even lain beyond the grasp of his own agency; James simply has had no option other than that of infinite justice. Rather than this making him boring or predictable, there has been something frightful, unsettling about a man whose exploits threaten to crush the very notions of imagination or possibility.
Tonight, though, you saw LeBron struggling, scrappy, and written off from the start. The way things have gone for him up to this point, it would seem that he'd met his match with the Pistons—a team whose functional strut is every bit as charmed as his path through the league. Yet even as the logical underdog, staring down the wrong end of the kind of leverage he's used to having over others, James somehow escaped with a victory. He suffered as expected, but between the Pistons breakdown and his willingless to live among the mortals, tonight's game proved that fearless limitation is an important part of being able to do it all.
P.S. FREE IZZY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!