There is a moment for LeBron James a moment few of us will ever experience. A moment where he controls everything he sees.
When he has the ball in his hands, up top, his defender in front of him, he is as close to invincible as a mortal can be.
He can do anything and everything at that moment.
Saturday, in his playoff debut, LeBron gave us the most crystal-clear example yet of how unlimited his abilities are when he has the ball in his hands and the entire game in front of him. The Cavaliers beat the Wizards, 97-86.
With 32 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists, he became the second-youngest player to record a triple-double in his playoff debut. The youngest was a fellow by the name of Magic Johnson.
His 32 points included a pair of three-point plays. He drew a third “and-one” but did not convert the free throw.
His 11 boards included three offensive rebounds. The Cavs took Washington apart on the offensive glass with 20 rebounds.
To get 11 assists, you have to have teammates with some ability to put the ball in the hoop. Eric Snow, much-maligned for his questionable shooter’s eye, finished with 14 points, several from LeBron dishes.
Donyell Marshall was also the beneficiary of several LeBron passes, finishing with 19 points, nine of them on three-pointers.
But LeBron’s best pass was saved for Ronald “Flip” Murray, who took a behind the back dish from LeBron and converted it into a lay-up.
It’s only Game 1, and the Wizards will almost certainly make defensive adjustments specifically designed to stop LeBron, the way Augusta National’s members attempted to “Tigerproof” their course.
This series is far from over, and should the Cavs make it past Washington, there is a near-guarantee the Pistons will be waiting in the next round.
But that’s not the story right now. The story is LeBron has risen to meet, and exceed, expectations yet again.
No matter who his doubters are, LeBron proves them wrong. And there is every reason to believe he will continue to do so.