The Drive, The Shot, The Fumble, The Elbow?? That is what Cleveland fans might be starting to think after LeBron James winced his way through a 19-point performance against the Bulls last night as the Cavaliers finished off Chicago 4-1 to move on to a date with the Boston Celtics. LeBron further added to the drama when, after hitting a late free throw to put the Cavs up 96-92 with 7.6 seconds remaining, he shot his 2nd free throw left handed, so as not to further any injury.
For his part, James said he would have shot it right handed if the Cavaliers 'needed' the free throw -
Honestly, if I would have had to make (the second one), I would have tried to with my right hand, but I didn’t want to risk it anymore.
LeBron also mentioned that he was concerned about the injury, simply because he had no idea what was causing it -
I don’t know, honestly, what’s going on (with it). I’ve done tests to try and figure this thing out, but it almost feels like you hit your funny bone and it kind of numbs up for a little bit. It bothers me more because I don’t actually know what it is. I don’t know what’s going on, but we will figure it out. We have the best doctors in Cleveland and they will figure it out. We will be fine."
Of course, LeBron also mentioned that the injury has been going on a "couple of weeks", though this is the first time he has really been affected.
I thought back to when LeBron first started wincing and flexing the elbow - Game 4 in Chicago - to see if I could find the cause. I remember thinking, as I watched him leave the floor in pain at Halftime on Saturday, that it could have been this dunk.
You can see the sheer force that LeBron exerts on the elbow - it almost seems like his hand gets hung up on the rim a bit. Could this have caused the injury - or, if it has been lingering for a few weeks unnoticed, could it have made the injury flare up?
Once thing is for certain. Despite falling one assist short of his 6th playoff triple-double, LeBron was definitely affected by the elbow pain/soreness/numbness. If the Cavs are going to beat the Celtics, the best Doctors in the world need to find the cause, and a solution, STAT.