Sometimes there are just no words.
That’s the effect that LeBron James has on us ordinary people when he starts being his extraordinary self. Trying to search for the proper adjectives to describe his performances is difficult, in large part because the majority of them are not adequate enough.
While I might sound like a LeBron lover at the moment, I can assure you that nothing could be further from the truth. I have been labeled a “hater” on more than one occasion.
Still, sometimes you just have to give the man his due. He really is the king of basketball, the Indiana Pacers serving as his paupers in Thursday's 90-79 win.
It’s not like his box score was anything special (by James’ standards, of course). The 30 points on 50 percent shooting, eight rebounds and six assists have pretty much become the norm for him.
It was the timing in this game that made it such a memorable performance.
With the Pacers leading by four at halftime, James decided to call the one number that can’t be stopped: his own. And did No. 6 deliver.
That four-point deficit slowly dwindled, the King’s stat line increasing exponentially in that wondrous third quarter.
The end result was 16 points in the period, three more than the entire Pacer team combined. Oh, he assisted on nine more as well. He had not only regained the lead for his team, he had seized absolute control of the game, perhaps the series as well.
Speaking to reporters after the game, James elaborated on the mindset necessary to will his team to victory, via Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com.
"I kind of just went back to my Cleveland days...just see if the guys would follow me and lead 'em the best I could."
The dizzying array of shots was nothing short of jaw-dropping, perfectly executed spin-moves to the basket on one possession, a 30-foot jumper the next.
For at least one night, James had channeled his inner Jordan, using the mouth and antics of Pacers guard Lance Stephenson to fuel his blistering performance.
"Lance is one of those guys who likes to talk some," James said. "And I'm for it, too. I really don't start it, but if it gets started, then I love to do it."
Memo to Stephenson: It’s probably not a good idea to tick off the best player in the world. Not when the rest of the team is left to suffer the consequences.
Now up 3-2 in the series, James has the unenviable of task of leading his Miami Heat into Indiana to close out the series. As good as the Pacers are, expect even more now with their backs against the wall.
The intensity will be kicked up a notch. The physicality will escalate even more. The Pacers will look to punch James and his team in the mouth. Only time will tell if James will counter the blow and deliver the knockout himself.
I picked the Pacers to win the series. Obviously, I’m a bit shaky on that pick now. Another Jordanesqe performance from James might be too much for them to overcome.
We’ll see if James can muster up some more of his Game 5 greatness. The hater in me screams no. The realist in me says otherwise.
Either way, Game 6 is shaping up to be a doozy.