There, I said it.
Right now, it is very popular to jump on the “LeBron is shrinking” bandwagon. Well, sorry journalistic world, you’re gonna have to sell that shit somewhere else, I ain’t buy’n it.
Several year ago, when LeBron was a high school senior and they were (in unprecedented fashion) televising his games on national tv, I watched a couple of them. While everyone else was talking about him being the next coming of MJ or Kobe, I had a different take… still do.
What I saw was a guy moving the ball around, getting teammates involved, hitting the open guy **everytime** over and over again. I saw a ridiculously tall, muscular guy handling the ball and whipping it around like a 6’2″ point guard. I saw a young Magic Johnson…
If LeBron was playing the point for Miami; doing what – I believe – LeBron does best, facilitating, those are the comparisons people would be making… and I don’t believe he would be suffering by comparison.
His passing and court awareness are comparable (although I wouldn’t go as far as to say equal), as is his rebounding. His ability to score is probably a bit better as is his athleticism and defense, although I do not believe LeBron should be focused on scoring at all. Don’t worry, the points will come… but I think 17 (like he had last night) to 25 is a great range for him. It woulf be a lot easier – and better for his team – for him to come up with another 10-15 points by passing to wide open teammates than by forcing the action himself.
LeBron’s not my favorite guy (I’ve never met him – if I did that might change…my opinion is based entirely on impressions and nothing factual), he’s not my favorite player (although, if he played the point that might change… I actually think his natural disposition on the court is very much my style of play… I’m about play-makers), and in my opinion ha has a **long** way to go before he deserves to be mentioned as one of the all time best player (although, this has more to do with time than it does deficiencies in his game). However, having said all of that… LeBron is an absolutely dominant force and (this is the news flash) continues to be one in this series.
I think he is being misused a bit… I’d like to see him initiating the Heat offense more often and looking to create his own shot a little less (note: I’m not saying scoring less, I’m saying creating his own shot less… there is a big difference… if you don’t know… you better ask somebody). But… he is not failing.
Watch his passes, watch his defense, watch his pursuit of rebounds, look (closely) at his stat lines for the series ( – removing the one very poor shooting game (game 3 – and poor shooting happens to everyone sooner or later) – and tell me you wouldn’t want that guy (17.2ppg/6.4ast/7.8reb – and those assist numbers are without the benefit of being the primary ball handler and initiator of the heats offense) running the point for your team.
If not…I’ve got some ocean front property in Montana I’d like to sell you…