2007 Eastern Conference Finals
Date: May 21-June 2, 2007
Teams and result: Cleveland Cavaliers over Detroit Pistons in six games.
LeBron made it this deep into the playoffs at 22 in just his fourth year against a fundamentally sound Pistons squad that was making their fifth (of six) consecutive appearances in the Eastern Conference Finals. In Game 1, the Cavs lost a defensive battle 79-76 in the final seconds when 'King James' opted to pass to teammate Donyell Marshall instead of taking a three to tie it; James finished the game with just 10 points. If you heard the analysts nightly postgame rabble-rousing you'd think LeBron had lost the entire game himself.
He then did what a superstar is supposed to do, he shut some 'talking head' asses. In the final few minutes of regulation and throughout overtime of Game 5, he scored 25 straight points in a textbook example of a "one man team," which helped (that's an understatement) the Cavs pull off a 109-107 double overtime victory on the Pistons' home court. In the final moments, Chauncey Billups missed a shot at the buzzer that would've sent it to triple OT. After that, Game 6 was a cinch. LeBron won his first conference title, which meant we no longer had to hear about him. Oh wait, never mind.