Cavaliers-Bulls: Sorry Chicago, LeBron James Is Just That Good

Josh Herman@@JoshHermanPJSCorrespondent IApril 26, 2010

CHICAGO - APRIL 25: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers signals to teammates after making a three-point shot against the Chicago Bulls in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2010 NBA Playoffs at the United Center on April 25, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. The Cavaliers defeated the Bulls 121-98. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

It was cute when the Chicago Bulls played the most competitive first-round playoff series last season against the reigning-champion Boston Celtics.

It was heart-warming to see the team fight hard to make a run and grab the final playoff spot this season.

And it was even nice seeing them win a home game against the top-seeded Cavaliers Thursday night.

But Sunday came and awoke the Bulls from dreamland, bringing them back to the reality that is LeBron James, or more suitably, the King.

Whether it was grabbing boards, dishing dimes, or knocking down half-courters, James once again proved why he's one of the best players in the NBA and the leading MVP candidate this season. And while most people know of his extreme talents, the Bulls constantly found themselves on their heels.

"I just think we weren't very tough mentally today," Joakim Noah said. "We were playing good ball and then just collapsed. We're a young team and have to learn from this."

Indeed. The team will have to learn from this, and maybe their intensity wasn't where it should've been, but there's no denying LeBron James wanted this game. And often, as people in Chicago are fully aware, when a superstar pours his heart into a game he usually succeeds.

Antawn Jamison, James' newest teammate, even said after the game he had never seen LeBron as focused as he was before Sunday's game, and his desire showed.

Much like in Game 2, when an assistant coach was allegedly taunting James, he found his spark and went off for 37 points, 12 rebounds, and 11 assists. He shot 65 percent from the field, including six-for-nine from behind the arc and nine-for-10 from the charity stripe.

His dominance was seen all over the court, especially a step over half-court where he drained a shot at the third-quarter buzzer that he later wrote off as "a regular jump shot for me." Maybe it's not a "regular" shot to most, but then again LeBron isn't much of a prototypical player as is.

Never has the league seen such a player with his combination of size and speed with the ability to hit a shot from almost anywhere. Oh, and don't forget about his defense, which surely would've gotten him a Defensive POY by now if Dwight Howard wasn't in the league.

His rings haven't come yet, and he hasn't had the team success that has put such players as Kobe Bryant, Bill Russell, and Michael Jordan at the highest level of superstar, but my feeling is his time is coming very soon.

So while it was fun to see the Bulls play competitively with the King and his jesters, it just shows this young team where they need to be to contend.

Then again, with the addition of a big-name free agent this offseason (James' name included), the Bulls might find themselves contending sooner than later.

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