Cleveland Cavaliers 2018: On LeBron James’ fadeaway, Boston Celtics’ resurgence — Bill Livingston

BOSTON — We join this stop on the NBA Golden Oldies Reunion Tour, in progress. Let the band play on, starting with the Rolling Stones’ 1964 hit “Not Fade Away.”That refers to the Boston Celtics’ fondest defensive hope in the NBA Eastern Conference Finals, starting Sunday afternoon, as they face LeBron James, the Cleveland Cavaliers, and the newest tool in James’ kit.The faderThat is an unstoppable, untoppable, unblockable fadeaway jump shot, taken from a position so laid back a hammock should be its ultimate landing zone. It is indefensible because of James’ size and strength.The fadeaway is not the ultimate weapon that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s skyhook became, but that was a function of Kareem’s height and wingspan, along with his skill and grace.The fadeaway takes the separation between shooter and stopper created by a step-back jump shot and supersizes it. When James has the hot hand, the opponents’ only recourse is signing the articles of surrender.James’ close-out game fader over the backboard corner in Game 4 against Toronto was a show-stopper. It might been the best fadeaway since the twilight’s last gleaming.He’s not going away eitherThe whole not fadeaway thing also refers to James himself, who — at 33, in his 15th and best season — is a 24-carat basketball oldie.He carried the Cavs almost by himself past every obstruction the ever-tenacious Indiana Pacers put in his path over seven frazzling first-round playoff games.James might have played against Larry Bird, George McGinnis, Reggie Miller, Rick Mount and Jimmy Chitwood of the Hickory Huskers in their prime and still whipped them at the buzzer on a fader (Indiana, Game 5) or a floater (Toronto, Game 3).Boston is fade-resistant tooBut the being ineradicable theme also includes the Celtics, who might have won just one of their 17 NBA championships since Bird’s last in 1986, but who have come back from irrelevance under the direction of general manager Danny Ainge and coach Brad Stevens.