2015 NBA Playoffs: Iman Shumpert Bears Witness to ‘The Great Escape’


You would have to assume that the playoff rollercoaster ride that the Cleveland Cavaliers guard Iman Shumpert has been on in these 2015 NBA Playoffs is better than anything that he has been a part of to this point of his NBA career.

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets /

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

He has a legitimate opportunity to win an NBA Championship, he is playing some of the most meaningful basketball of his four-year NBA career, and he gets to play with the best basketball player in the world.

The Eastern Semifinals series between the Chicago Bulls and Cleveland Cavaliers has easily been the best playoff series of the Second Round.

Chicago won Game 3 on a buzzer-beater by Derrick Rose that was needed to shut the mouths of his skeptics and detractors who wanted to talk about his health and his heart.

The Game 4 buzzer-beater that won the game for the Cleveland Cavaliers, however, could possibly be the most important shot of the seven game series.

We are going to call LeBron James buzzer-beater to win Game 4 in Chicago “The Great Escape”.

Why are we calling it the great escape? Because there is no way on God’s green earth that the Cavs should have been in the position to get the opportunity for a game winner.

There is no way on God’s green earth, that while LeBron James is sitting on the bench to catch a breather that Chicago’s offense goes through a drought that effectively kept the Cavaliers in the game.

Lastly, there is no way on God’s green earth that the Chicago Bulls should have held LeBron James to 10 of 30 shooting from the floor, and let LeBron escape from Chicago with a win.

That is just flat out ridiculous! But it is good news for a player like Iman Shumpert.

There is not extra pressure on either him or the rest of the Cleveland Cavaliers for that matter going into Game 5.

Going into Game 5 needing to win three games in a row would have been a tall task, especially when you consider that Chicago has dictated the rules of engagement for this series.

The reality of this series is that as much as Chicago has slowed the Cavaliers offense down, as many turnovers as LeBron James has committed and shots he has missed, and as many key people are slowed or out due to injury like Kyrie Irving with his foot, Iman Shumpert with his groin, and Kevin Love with his shoulder, Chicago’s offense is still too sloppy and could end up being their demise in the end.

The only way for Chicago to take advantage of all the shortcomings that Cleveland is coming to the court with is for Chicago to execute offensively in the supposed improved fashion that people have raved about all season.

In this series, you simply don’t see it!

The Bulls, given their history against the LeBron James led team, needed to get a stranglehold on this situation while they had the chance and they let James and the Cavs get away.

This second round series with the Bulls and Cavs puts you in the mind of the 2013 Eastern Conference Finals between the Indiana Pacers and the Miami Heat.

Somehow LeBron and the Heat were able to pull off the ultimate escape and win the series in seven games.

The Pacers dictated the terms of the series to LeBron and Miami much like Chicago is doing to LeBron and the Cavaliers now, only to lose the series.

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Of course Cleveland has less firepower on the floor than Miami, but if the Cavaliers do come away with this series over the Bulls, it is going to leave you with the same puzzled feeling Indiana left you with in 2013.

Hoop fans will be scratching their heads asking themselves, “The Bulls controlled everything in the series, how did they lose?”.

Iman Shumpert is two wins away from seeing LeBron James pull another “Whodini Act” in helping a team that should be otherwise defeated, escape with a series win and move on to the Eastern Conference Finals.

This has to be some of the most exciting basketball he has ever been a part of, and it could also be the most fruitful with a possible appearance in the NBA Finals and chance to hold the Larry O’Brien trophy still in his grasp.