The question for these NBA Finals isn't whether the Cavs can beat the Spurs. It's whether LeBron James can prove he's the second coming of Michael Jordan. Michael Jordan never lost a championship series.
He went six for six—and would likely have gone eight for eight had he not retired in '94 (no offense to those awesome Rockets teams).
LeBron doesn't have a Scottie Pippen to help him out, or a Phil Jackson to call the shots, so the Jordan comparison isn't really a fair one. Then again, if LeBron wants to be the best of all time, how better to show it than by beating the team everyone has had penciled in for the title since the first round?
Let's quit fooling ourselves and admit that the James-Jordan comparison is the juiciest story of these Finals. Let's admit what's really on our minds—and stop analyzing this series as if it were just your typical Spurs vs. (Insert Weaker Opponent Here) mismatch.
LeBron showed against the Pistons that he has the killer instinct of You-Know-Who. He also proved that he has the ability—even at his young age—to lead a team of average players to the promised land.
But getting there is only half the battle. If LeBron wants to earn the MJ comparisons, he's got to win.
LeBron is so mature for his age that when asked during an ESPN interview on Sunday whether or not he's on the level of Magic and Michael, he admitted that it was simply too early to make comparisons.
If he wins this series, it won't be too early anymore.
Indeed, if the Cavs pull it off, LeBron James, at 22 years of age, will be well on his way towards becoming the greatest NBA player of all time.
But victory in this series is a world away, and 'Bron knows it. San Antonio's roster is far more experienced than Cleveland's. No one is expecting the Cavs to win—meaning it's LeBron's time to show his true colors.
Kinda sounds a little like Jordan's first championship story.
Will it end the same way?
Only the most anticipated NBA Finals of the last ten years will be able to answer that one.