Can LeBron James Pull Off One More Historic Series Upset?

LeBron James entered this season, his 21st in the NBA, supposedly on the decline and in the twilight of his career.

The Lakers struggled all season to find a championship rhythm, but Bron averaged 25.7 points, 7.3 rebounds and 8.3 assists per game. L.A. sneaked into the playoffs via the play-in tournament and then quickly fell behind 3-0 against the defending world champion Denver Nuggets in the opening round.

Most people wrote LeBron and the Lakers off and assumed Nikola Jokic and Denver would close out the series with an embarrassing sweep.

LeBron James Saves Lakers Season

Instead, King James stepped up to salvage the season.

James scored 30 points, Anthony Davis added 25 points and 23 rebounds, and the Lakers avoided postseason elimination with a 119-108 victory over Denver in Game 4 of their first-round series Saturday night.

D’Angelo Russell and Austin Reaves chipped in 21 points apiece for the seventh-seeded Lakers, who snapped their 11-game losing streak against Denver with their first win over the Nuggets since December 2022.

James finally cracked the code. Now the question is whether or not the Lakers have dug themselves a hole that is too deep for even the great LBJ.

LeBron James Orchestrated Only 3-1 Comeback in NBA Finals History

If history is any indication, then LeBron has been here before. So if anyone knows this series lead isn’t totally insurmountable it’s James, who led the Cleveland Cavs to the only 3-1 comeback in NBA Finals history, against 73-9 team, who set the record for most wins in an NBA season and appeared invincible.

That was almost a decade ago, but Bron is still going strong even if his team success isn’t as impactful as it once was.

More than anything, what that historic achievement proved was that you can’t count out LeBron James under any circumstances.

Nobody gave the Lakers a shot to beat The Splash Brothers in the prime of their NBA dominance, but Bron and Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love proved to be as formidable a Big Three as their championship adversaries, orchestrating the most improbable comeback in NBA history. The fact that Draymond Green was suspended is merely a footnote at this point. Bring a championship to the Cleveland Cavs and fulfilling the promise he made as a child of Akron coming home, then leaving and then returning to complete the mission.

In the fourth quarter of Saturday night’s game, James, who has made it very clear that he’s only sticking around to play with his son Bronny, looked like a legend ready to shock the world one last time.

The 39-year-old James scored 14 points in the fourth quarter on 6-of-8 shooting, stunning the hoops world and opening the door for social media and sports talk show conversation about the possibility of another comeback.

After the Game 3 loss, Bron, who has never been swept out of a first-round of the playoffs, addressed the strengths of Denver’s team.

“This team is definitely well-equipped, well-prepared, well-coached, they do not have a weakness offensively,” LeBron said.

“Every guy they put on the floor, especially their starting lineup they’ve been one of the best starting fives in our league over the last few years— they got shotmakers, they have playmakers, guys who can rebound, assist, things of that nature.”

Even when his back is against the wall and his team seems clearly outclassed, Bron still has a knack for coming up big in those moments and also inspiring elevated play from the rest of his teammates.

Win or lose, Bron is always studying the competition and trying to find ways to exploit any weaknesses he might find. Even though, “it’s just basketball,” James does it as well as anybody and you can’t ever count him out.

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