BOSTON (CBS) — LeBron James is imposing his will on everyone in his path right now in the NBA Playoffs, and the Celtics appear to be his latest victim. Especially poor Kelly Olynyk.
With the Cavs up 24-17 near the end of the first quarter, LeBron saw that Olynyk was squaring him up on defense. So, naturally, he drove right at him and laid it in to put the Cavs up nine points.
Then, on the very next Cavs possession, LeBron saw Olynyk attempting to defend him again. That’s when he started clowning around. Watch below as he turns away from Olynyk, dribbles the ball toward Olynyk between his legs, appears to say something to the fans in the floor seats, then turns around and drives right at Olynyk for another layup to put the Cavs up 28-17.
Analysts Reggie Miller and Chris Webber remarked that LeBron was “clowning out here” and “playing around” with the Celtics, as if he were bullying the smaller, less athletic kids around in a schoolyard game.
LeBron entered Wednesday night averaging 34.4 points, nine rebounds, 7.1 assists, and 2.1 steals in eight previous playoff games. He finished Game 1 against the Celtics with 38 points (11-for-22 shooting), nine rebounds, seven assists, and two steals. In other words, LeBron is a basketball cyborg.
Olynyk, on the other hand, followed up the game of his life in Game 7 against the Washington Wizards with a virtual no-show, shooting 1-for-6 from the field (including 0-for-2 from three-point range) in just over 16 minutes off the bench.
The Celtics didn’t seem to have anything resembling an answer for LeBron on defense in Game 1. They’ll have to turn that around in a hurry in order to make the series respectable, or LeBron is just going to keep clowning them all the way to the NBA Finals.