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Starting In Game 4 Something Affected LeBron James And Delonte West

A rumor hit the inbox this afternoon and Duffy and I dismissed it because it seemed too out there. Then another e-mail came. Then it was in the comments section and started making the rounds on Twitter. The rumor – something went on between Delonte West and LeBron James’ mother, Gloria.

Rumor has it that LeBron found out before Game 4 which is where the entire series changed. Delonte West stopped playing as much and LeBron’s numbers fell of a cliff. Here are Delonte West’s minutes in the playoffs:

First Round vs. Bulls
Game 1 – 24
Game 2 – 27
Game 3 – 30
Game 4 – 26
Game 5 -31

Second Round vs. Celtics
Game 1 – 27
Game 2 -31
Game 3 – 29
Game 4 – 20
Game 5 – 9
Game 6 – 14

That’s a pretty noticeable drop off for a guy that played 42 minutes a game during last season’s playoffs. This season he played 25 minutes a game during the regular season for the 61-win Cavs. Why does one of the Cavs’ best players suddenly fall out of the rotation in the most important games of the season?

As for LeBron’s performance… Going into Game 4 against the Celtics, LeBron was shooting 55 percent and had scored around 32 points a game in the playoffs. In games 4, 5, and 6 he shot a combined 33 percent and scored just 21 points a game. He was standing around on offense and when he was trying, it didn’t look like the old LeBron James.

Suddenly, in Game 4, Delonte West stopped playing the majority of the games and LeBron James completely stopped playing like LeBron James.I assumed he was hurt worse than initially reported, but Danny Ferry says he won’t be having surgery. No reason was given for shaking up the Cavs rotation that had been working all season and through the first 8 games of the playoffs. While this is probably a just a rumor, something happened between games 3 and 4 that affected both Delonte West and LeBron James. Right?

Update-ish: Still a rumor (and I’m not writing otherwise until LeBron himself confirms), but with more people hearing it. Much like the Census-Troll story, I still hope its true.

 

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