In the Long run: The curse of King James

Michael Long, Sports Editor

It’s playoff time for the NBA, and our own Pacers are coming off of a not-too-shabby season. They finished the regular season with a record of 48-34, clinching the fifth spot in the Eastern Conference. Again, not too shabby.

With the top candidate for the Most Improved Player of the Year award, Victor Oladipo, a flamboyant Lance Stephenson and valid candidate for Coach of the Year, Nate McMillan, things are looking good for the Pacers. That is until you look at who we’re facing in the first round; LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

King James has been wreaking havoc on Pacer playoff dreams since 2012 when he played for the Miami Heat. Back then, LeBron played in three postseasons in a row where he ended up plunging a knife into the heart of the Pacers team and twisting it.

Three years in a row, the Pacers’ season painfully came to an end at the merciless hands of LeBron James.

Then, last season, he struck again, only this time he did it with a little more flare. In game three of the first round, LeBron put up a 41-point-triple-double and led his team back from a 26 point deficit in the third quarter. Unfortunately for us, Hoosiers, it turned out to be one of the most memorable games of his career.

Now the big question is: can this group of scrappy Pacers finally take down the King and break the curse? The Cavaliers, after all, have had a rough season in terms of their recent success. The past few seasons they have dominated the Eastern Conference.

They have had three straight NBA Finals appearances, winning one of those by notoriously coming back against the Golden State Warriors after trailing the series 3-1.

This season, success like that is looking questionable for Cleveland considering they finished fourth in the East. So will the Pacers be able to take down the Cavaliers while they’re seemingly weak? No. They won’t, plain and simple.

The Cavaliers did have a major roster change earlier in the season, but one unstoppable factor stayed with Cleveland. LeBron James. The man is on a mission to make it to the finals. That’s kind of his thing. The man has been in every NBA Finals since 2011 and with the MVP-caliber season that he’s having, the Pacers don’t look like enough to stop him.

However, I’m still remaining a hopeful Hoosier and will root for the Pacers as they try to break the curse of King James. I might even try to get into one of the games. But no matter how much I cheer or hope, the logical side of me still expects to see the Pacers fall to LeBron once again.