Fast Break Thoughts: Checking In On the Traded

Darius Soriano —  February 21, 2010

Despite there not being any Lakers games since Thursday’s game against Boston, their have been a few interesting developments around the league over the past couple of days – especially in regards to some of the guys that changed area codes before the Thursday trade deadline. So, here are a few random thoughts on what we’ve seen in their first games with their new teams…

*How about that T-Mac? He was quite impressive in his debut for the Knicks as he looks completely healed from his knee surgery (I think Doc Brown performed his micro-fracture surgery) and was in better condition than I would have expected for a guy that has only played a handful of games over the past season and a half.  If McGrady can play well down the stretch of this season for the Knicks, some team is going to want him and maybe even a contender.  If money really isn’t an issue for him, I could see scenarios where he stays with the Knicks or moves on to another team that is in contention for a championship.  There are plenty of teams that could use a player with his skill set and if he really can adjust to being a secondary player on a good team, he will surely help out with his ability to score and handle the ball.

*T-Mac wasn’t alone in looking good for the new look Knicks, though.  I was quite impressed with Sergio Rodriguez and his comfort in D’Antoni’s schemes (they are a natural fit) and was also happy to see Eddie House doing his thing for a team that can’t really hurt the Lakers in the post-season.  Like Phil Jackson, I believe House is a dangerous player and I think Boston let go of a player that really can change the game with his shooting.  House is a threat and can change the momentum in a game.  However, coaxing those types of performances out of Eddie is seemingly much easier when he’s upset and playing with chip on his shoulder (as he is after this trade) and while playing in a shooter friendly system that he has history in.

*Lots of other players had good performances for their new teams over the past couple of days.  Hakim Warrick and Flip Murray performed quite well in their debut for the Bulls and fit in like they’d been playing with the team all season.  Ty Thomas stepped in with the Bobcats and played well in his first game under Larry Brown’s coaching as the Cats continued to terrorize the Cavs.  He then followed up that performance with a double double against the Bucks the next night.  Speaking of the Bucks, John Salmons has given them the scoring punch and playmaking they need on the wing.  These are small sample sizes for these players and keeping up the strong play will be something to monitor, but getting a boost from a trade is a always a good thing because it’s not always a smooth first impression for these guys.

*Like Antawn Jamison’s 0-12 debut for the Cavs.  Or Carl Landry’s ten points on eleven shots for the Kings.  Or Ronnie Brewer tearing his hamstring in his first game with the Grizz.  Sometimes things don’t go as planned and players don’t perform well in their debuts, making it easy to think the worst.  However, just as you can’t get too high because of a strong performance from a newcomer, you also can’t get too down on a player because they played poorly.  Jamison and Landry are good players and they’ll be better than they showed in their first games with their new teams.  I thought Matt Moore had a good take over at ProBasketballTalk on Jamison’s debut:

To think that Jamison’s career in Cleveland will be marked with failure because he had difficulty on his first night after lots of traveling, rearranging his life, and trying to integrate into a brand new system is just plain silly, and ignores one significant factor in this outcome: the Charlotte Bobcats.

The Bobcats defense is one of the best in the league, beset by talented, versatile defenders, especially bigs. They operate well in man, man-help, zone, and hybrid schemes, meaning essentially they can affix their approach to any opponent. Throw in their effort and ability and it’s not at all shocking that Jamison struggled. Throw in the other factors and a cold shooting night, and it’s simply one of those things that happens. Let’s wait to see how Jamison responds for the remainder of the season before sounding the panic alarm.

However, even though I agree with everything said, I do think Jamison will need to have a strong performance soon just to relieve the fans of the Cavs.  They’ve lost two straight games (one without ‘Tawn and one with) and that is a rare thing for this years Cavs.  For a team that was coasting along on a 13 game win streak and in possession of the league’s best record, a couple more losses or bad performances from their new acquisition may induce some panic.

Darius Soriano

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46 responses to Fast Break Thoughts: Checking In On the Traded

  1. Mike Brown’s experimenting with Jamison at the 3… Can’t see that working out.

    What’s the Cavs crunch time lineup going to be now?

    Or are they going to be based on matchups?

    Id think that Varejao, Lebron and Mo would always be on.. but im not too sure.

    If their playing the Magic and its tight do they keep Shaq for Dwight and Jamison on to spread the floor?

    If so.. that has to compromise their defense doesn’t it?

  2. Go Magic!!!!
    3 game losing streak for the Cavs would be nice

  3. Nothing like a 3 game losing streat to plant doubt on a team that just made a significant trade…LOL.

    Although the Lakers are not playing today, we have chance to pick up 1/2 game on some of our foes. We can just sit back and enjoy critiquing what weaknesses they possess.

  4. Very satisfying end to the Magic-Cavs game.

    Jamison at the 3 seems like a bad idea, but I do think they don’t gain much by having Jamison take minutes from Varejao at the 4 (the loss of D and hustle offsets the spacing).

  5. I know this belongs on the Kobe post, but I wanted people to get the link to the Lil Wayne Kobe song:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hCH-owsrC-A

  6. so we’re tied with the Cav’s now in the loss column eh?
    hehehe

    and they have a tough stretch coming up, and we can’t lose in the Cent’s nuggs game either, eh? kind of hoping the celts win, but I also hate to see them sweep this road trip, so, go Nugg’s, stomp them!

    we’ve got the Nuggs coming up, time to really focus on that one.

  7. A few thoughts on the Cavs, having seen them play twice this week.

    Lebron v Kobe

    1. Physically, LeBron is in a different category than Kobe right now. He is amazing. But in terms of actual basketball moves Kobe is light years ahead of LeBron. I was blown away by how much more advanced Kobe is. LeBron has two shots -runaway train to the hoop and that long jumper. He has no footwork and no finesse. He’s a good passer but everything else is just him being more physically gifted than anyone else on the court.

    2. During crunch time today LeBron seemed to want almost anybody but him taking the shots. He came up super small today as he did against the Nuggets earlier during the last quarter. Kobe is a closer, LeBron is whatever the opposite of that is. I could see a Kobe led team losing this game today, but Kobe would have shot them out of the game or shot them to a victory. LeBron was content to be a spectator. Very different personalities.

    Cavs v Lakers

    Orlando put that game away with some clutch three point shooting. I’ll repeat what I wrote in an earlier thread – the Lakers better step up their three point shooting if they face the Cavs.

    Laker bigs need to get ready for some physical games from the Nuggets and Cavs. Those two series, if they happen, are going to be tough down low and I think the refs are going to let the big boys play.

    In the East, it looks to be either Cleveland or Orlando. In the West, it looks to be either Denver or LA (not sure how Dallas is going to look after their trades) and I have no clue which of those teams will come through. Should be some very competitive playoff games.

  8. I know this is late and on the wrong thread, but I was proud of our game with the Cs. I truly feel we are seeing our Lakers come together for a great stretch run. Although we lost to Boston, this was not the poopy diaper I thought it might be. If we get HCA throughout, great. At this point I think I speak for most Laker fans when I say that I just want to see a 90% Kobe playing along as distributor Kobe for 3 1/2 qtrs and then start ripping out hearts with his close out skills.

  9. #7 VoR: I noticed a bunch of times in Cavs games that in late game situations, HE is the one inbounding, so he almost NEVER has the ball straight after the inbounds. This means if teams foul straight away, it’s not LBJ with the FTs, and if they’re looking for him to take a shot, they need to work the ball back to him. I think this ties in with what you’ve said about him not wanting it late today. It just seems to be how he deals (or the team deals) with late game situations.

  10. cavs and celts lose, magic kind of reassert themselves and the nuggets will be the nuggets. and hey, chances are bobcats will end up as 8th seed. heck if they were 7th, cleveland would rather be 3rd. i smell the ghost of golden state past in that matchup…not that captain jack has anything to say about it.

    this shaq and howard battle turned out to be a sight. it’s like clash of the titans. if shaq says some uncalled for thing against kobe like lbj is better and stuff like that, i could just imagine what kobe does in his next game.

    anyhow, hands down agree that kobe is the closer that lbj wants to be but doesn’t deliver on. i believe you are not a complete scorer without being consistent both in attempts and results in crunch time. you have to be a scorer for 48 minutes. lbj does not have the mechanics of an elite scorer and is not as lethal a closer yet. that’s with a yet. however, kobe has been jacking up shots late in games at about the same age as lbj.

    great day without seeing action for the lakers. i also like this rest considering the acid tests to come.

    and by “acid” i hope no more meltdowns. mental toughness. keep it up! GO LAKERS!

  11. #7 – I would take LeBron’s “2-shot” repertoire over 99.5% of the league’s other players’ skills. He might be limited in what he does, but he’s still unstoppable.

    What you’re all ripping on him for is his unselfishness. I don’t think he shies away from big moments, because he’s shown in numerous situations that he is willing to step up. He wants to build the team’s confidence by showing he trusts them in late-game situations. But yes, now that is a hindrance – he needs to stop distributing so much and start going into closer-mode in late-game situation. His team plays well for most of the night, and he should realize that’s good enough.

  12. i also am happy that the voted overrated player called tmac is out to prove people he can bring it on.

    igor — yes he should try to be that lethal late-game scorer. not that he should always be that person taking the shot, but maybe he should test himself in this area more and hence solidify his legacy in this area as well.

  13. #11 Igor: I don’t think we’re “ripping” LeBron – clearly he’s an athletic specimen and can do amazing things. And yes, I would take him at the end of games over the vast majority of the rest of the NBA. My point was really just to highlight the difference of his end-of-game attitude (from what I can tell through a TV screen!) to Kobe’s end-of-game attitude. Plus how the Cavs set up in those situations compared to us.

    You’re definitely correct with how he should be looking at his team though. I sometimes wonder if the criticism he got when he passed to Donyell Marshall for a potential game winner has changed his midset about end-game situations.

  14. When it comes to Lebron as a closer, I really don’t think we can question his mentality. Like others, I’ve seen him play with an aggressive mindset several times at the end of games, and I’ve also seen that aggressive mentality translate into wins for the Cavs.

    The key point is Lebron’s offensive repertoire, or relative lack thereof. Lebron is phenomenal when he has a full head of steam and he’s pretty good when operating from the elbow, but beyond those two positions, he doesn’t have much to offer on a consistent basis. When teams start to take those options away at the end of games, he hasn’t demonstrated the ability to effectively counter. Of course, part of the culpability falls on Mike Brown for not adjusting the offense accordingly.

  15. Another thing I noticed about LeBron from today and the Nuggets game is his penchant for attempting the dagger 3 in late-game situations, even when they didn’t need a 3 at the time. Terrible decisions that cost his team points in crunch time.

  16. I see Orlando coming alive in the last quarter of the season. I said before that this previous stretch (before the three losses) was the best basketball Cleveland would probably play this season. They will still be good, no doubt. But they may have peaked too soon.

    Also, as much as some of us slam the Lakers when was the last time they had a three game losing streaK? It was back before #16 came to town.

    Today was a good day for us Laker fans. The door has been opened for the Lakers to regain the league’s best record. The Cavs confidence was shaken, even if only a little. And the Magic are looking like they will at least challenge Cleveland in the East. And you have to love the Bobcats lurking in the bottom 4 looking to make it difficult for one of the big dogs (hopefully Cleveland) in the first round.

    All we need is for #24 to be ready to go against Memphis. This was a great weekend of basketball, indeed.

  17. I think Lebron is a lot like Shaq – incredible physical skills, but not the same mental-drive-bordering-on-obsession that you find in superstars like Kobe or MJ.

    I think this is part of what makes comparisons so hard. You marvel at what the physically gifted players can do and try to judge how they could do more (and maybe overlook the work they put in). You look at the obsessive players and, I think, overlook the fact that they’re not necessarily the most gifted physically (because they make things look so easy).

  18. Lebron is hands down the most physically gifted athlete on the planet, perhaps the most physically gifted player ever in the NBA. Right now that is 95% of his game (probably as it should be) as he ages and he loses some of that, he will need to improve his game just like all the other great players have had to. When he is older and perhaps a step slower he will still be bigger than almost any other player at his position and will need to develop some post moves. And he needs to improve as mid range shooter. But he is quite simply unstoppable right now, imagine if he had his Kobe’s skill set.

  19. LeBron may be limited in what can do offensively, but the guy is still amazing. I have given up trying to point out flaws in his game. Right now LeBron can get away with his limitations because he is so athletically gifted.

    During Jordan’s earlier years he did not have the fade away from the wing or the baseline. He did not have the midrange game. He was just such a supreme athlete he didn’t really need those moves. Those elements to his game came after a decade of play.

    The one thing I do wonder about LeBron is if he has the gracefulness to refine his game to that degree. His jumpshot will surely get better. But for all of his running fast and jumping high does he have the coordination to develop the kind of footwork the Jordan, Hakeem, and Kobe all have? I am not sure. So when everyone swears he will get sooo much better I often wonder. Sometimes I think LeBron is a lot closer to his ceiling than people think. Granted, its one really high ceiling and he will probably play at or near his peak for a long time. I just think his “best” is not the far off from where he is now.

  20. These critiques of Lebron’s game have kernels of truth, but are very overstated.

    By any statistical measure, Lebron is one of the outstanding closers of the game, mainly because his bull rush to the net is unstoppable (especially with today’s refereeing). His free throw shooting is a little erratic, as is his 3 point shooting, but improved enough that he is incredibly effective in need-1-basket situations.

    Let us just thank Zeus that Lebron has (1) no post game and (2) no reliable midrange. Even without the two, he’s clearly the league MVP (sorry Kobe, you’re still the most skilled, wisest, inventive and beautiful to watch player) and he may yet stampede the Cavs to the title anyway.

  21. I’m actually glad for T-Mac. I just don’t understand why Houston just didn’t want him. Its okay to trade him if you think he’s the wrong fit for the team, but they banished him. If T-mac performs quite well for the rest of the season, I would like to see the lakers take a run at him for some of the mid level exception. The lakers have to start looking past Luke Walton. He’s just not right. He hasn’t been healthy for three years, and I don’t think he will ever be more than a 10 minute a night (if that type of player). But T-mac can get his 20-25 minutes as the back up sf/sg. Kobe would be able to decrease his minutes and to 35 a game and not worry about taking a few games off here in there. And he provide that true scoring punch off the bench. Obviously the Lakers will have to factor a lot things in that decision, namely how well brown and farmar play in the post-season. I’m getting a bit ahead of myself, but that’s something the lakers should at least explore.

    But i’m not worried about the Jamison trade. I think the Lakers would want see Jamison in the game rather than Varajao. Jamison can’t defend. Doesn’t draw the charges, block shots and provide the same time of hustle/momentum plays varajao does. Pau has field days with Jamison on the offensive end and won’t have a problem on the defensive end because Pau has shown the ability to step and guard stretch 4′s. Jamison is more comfortable in the post anyway. While I do believe they improved talent wise, I don’t think Jamison puts them over the top if they shall meet the lakers in the finals.

    As far a Lebron, teams don’t win championships with one player doing as much as lebron is doing. Look at Jordan’s and most other greats numbers before they won a championship and their stats when they won championship. Lebron is going to have to give, in order to win a championship. I can’t stand hearing the Lebron is only 25 he’s going to get so much better. His production can increase if he wanted it to, but as mentioned earlier he won’t win a championship like that. And players production don’t dramatically increase from 25 to prime. Jordan had crazy stats from ages 23-27. The way lebron has to improve is to be able to get those type of numbers without exerting so much energy and not needing his teammates to work as hard as they work to get lebron open so that he can put up those numbers.

    By the way the cavs are only a half game ahead of the lakers. The lakers will have the best record by thursday.

  22. LeBron and Shaq, I think that was an apt comparison. If either had the attitude of Jordan, or even Hakeem, they’d be something that everyone watching basketball would worship wholeheartedly.

    Still, they are great as is, and I think LeBron will remain effective even after he ages, just like Shaq is due to his sheer size. I mean, at worst, LeBron will be a 3 pt shooting PF, with great passing skills even if all of his explosiveness leaves him, and that’s still a nasty matchup.

    And, not sure how many of you ever play RPGs where you can develop your character or party – it’s nice to have a human knight with all the right moves for each situation, but sometimes it’s just more efficient to have a half-orc barbarian wielding two battleaxes.

    Me, I prefer a well groomed rogue/assassin with a nasty backstab, so yeah, I like Kobe better than LeBron, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t understand the effectiveness of a Barbarian unleashed.

  23. To add to my point that lebron is going to have to learn how to score more easily without exerting so much energy. The highlights of the Cavs-Magic game just came on and Lebron is setting up and starting the offense 35 feet way from the basket and having his bigs come out 23 ft away from the basket to set multiple screens play after play after play. That’s what I’m talking about. When lebron gets past his physical prime in a few years, what ever team he plays for, cannot rely on that type of basketball.

  24. Looks like the Cavs are catching the Fisher syndrome, Jamison was 0-12 the other night and tonight Willaims went 1-9

  25. Wow, the Bay area fans are arguably the best in the NBA. At least in terms of creating the right atmosphere in a stadium.

    They really do deserve a better team. It’d be amazing if teams had to face that crowd in May.

  26. Who’s better: Deron Williams or Brandon Roy?

    That’s a difficult question. Depends on how you define “better.” I think I’d take Williams, if I’m trying to build a championship team. But you can’t go wrong with Roy either. He has some of those intangibles D-Will doesn’t have. Both great leaders, though, with varied skills.

  27. I’ll continue my pro-Milicic push here:
    +35 on a loss to Minny. 8 points on 4-of-7 shooting, along with 8 rebounds 2 assists and a blocked shot.

    Not that I’m overrating him, but I promise you guys, he will be a decent guy in the Triangle Offense.

  28. If LeBron was a Laker, these tongues would be singing praise instead of criticizing. No player is perfect. Even our hometown roundball demigod #24 is far from being flawless. Kobe has missed ‘dagger threes’ late in games for more years than LeBron has. Kobe’s late-game decisions have been questioned for far longer. Kobe, at LeBron’s age, had a game that could still use perfecting. Even now he’s still criticized for some aspects of how he plays.

    So what if LeBron’s got some tiny holes in his game? He’s unstoppable right now, and that’s all that matters. And his potential doesn’t seem to have a ceiling. It’s a shame some people can’t appreciate his greatness just because he’s playing for another team.

  29. The focus of recent discussions on this blog have revolved around fanciful comparisons of individual players–sometimes from different eras. There is no doubt that the players mentioned are exceptional, but basketball games are not won by individuals–they are won by teams of complementary role players. As an individual star such as Lebron (or Kobe) separates himself from the rest of the team in terms of offensive opportunities, it becomes more and more difficult for him to harmonize his role with the other players.

    On defense he will be required to play an even more complementary role with his teammates to provide lockdown defense. Going for steals and showboating on fast breaks often provides the best entertainment for fans, but seldom affords the best team defense.

    Lebron was a volume shooter (12/25+12 freethrows, but 1/6 from the three point line) with superstar stats of 33-9-6 against the Magic tonight, but–the Cavs lost. A few nights before, Lebron set an all time NBA record against the Nuggs of 43-13-15 and–the Cavs lost. (Lebron took 33 shots plus 17 free throws–1 for 9 on three point attempts).

    When Kobe got 81 points seasons ago, the Lakers were aggressively pursued by the Raptors, who kept the score close. In more recent Kobe volume shooting games, the Lakers lost.

    The Lakers have a very good chance to win an NBA championship because they have a good team of complementary players–as long as Kobe resists being a volume shooter on offense and playing lanes for steals on defense.

    The Lakers have had great teams throughout their history, and just as the Lakers are lucky to have Kobe, Kobe is lucky to be on another one of these fine teams with the Lakers.

    If Lebron wants to be part of a championship team, he might benefit from the wisdom of architect Mies van der Rohe: Less is more.

  30. Mwahahahahahahahahahaha. Sorry, can’t help but burst out in evil laughter at the Cavs losing 3 in a row. And, of course, Boston losing to Denver.

  31. 28,
    Couldn’t agree with you more. Lebron is the best player alive and we should all appreciate him

    29,
    Couldn’t disagree more. Kobe then was playing with Garbage around him as Lebron is now. They need to dominate the ball and shoot often. Now Lebron at least has another above average player by his side like Kobe had with Lamar.

  32. When you begin to compare personalities of different times and eras, much more so involve the term “greatest”, you tread a very dangerous territory of being criticized either way. Like the quote I most recently appreciated from another forum: “You are entitled to your own opinion but you are not entitled to your own facts.”

    The problem with facts, history and all the likes is that its very subjective. Like Igor said, if Lebron were a Laker at this time we all would have a different view of his “greatness” as opposed to the other Laker greats that came before him. May I suggest we end the pointless debate which history can only answer… prove wrong or right… because it is not only never-ending, it is also unproductive.

    We love basketball, that is a fact. The fact that we “waste” time writing on blogs is a prime example of how screwed up we all are. But it must not take away the essentials of what we all represent: that while every fact or fiction will always be depicted according to the beholder, we will always be fans of the beautiful game we all know as basketball.

  33. The league MVP will go to the player on the team
    with the best record. That’s how it should be.
    Ofcourse this is barring injury. But if both Kobe and lebron play pretty much the way they have all year then best record will decide it. And don’t think those four Kobe game winners won’t figure prominently in the discussion.

  34. Lebron will get the MVP this year just purely out of ridiculous numbers…

    IMO, let him have the Podoloff … just as long as we have the O’brien… /discussion.

  35. there’s no way lebron isn’t winning the mvp. like warren said tho let him have it. kobe will win finals mvp.

  36. Honestly, the thought of Kobe coming back on Tuesday makes me very excited. I know that this team has more than Kobe, however there is something about him that makes me want to watch. I can’t wait to see him on the court, even if he does nothing. These past 2 weeks showed me how lucky I am to watch Kobe, especially because when he retires, he will never be back.

  37. Lebron’s a pretty good player. With most atheletes, they don’t start working on different facets of their game until their physical abilities don’t work anymore. Jordan is a prime example.

    Lebron’s become a pretty good help defender, and his man to man has been pretty good. The reason he doesn’t have to work on any turn around jumpers or jab step moves is, well, because he’s faster than everyone else.

    I won’t choose Kobe or Lebron. I’d love to have either on the team I cheer for.

    ——–

    regarding the cavs’ trade, i can’t take any of these results seriously until I see whether or not Z comes back to them. Right now they look like a disjointed team, trying to figure out where a prolific scorer like Jamison is supposed to fit in and get his points. I don’t think any of us can figure out how they would play in the finals until the end of the season/playoffs come around. The great part is, Cleveland will be feeling the pressure to mesh quickly, and that could have a detrimental effect on their basketball. This season isn’t just for the championship for them, it’s re signing lebron so that they can be relevant beyond this year.

    Should be fun.

  38. Jamison makes the Cavs much better, even if its just offensively. He cuts into Varejão’s playing time, which will significantly weaken their defense. Jamison+Shaq = hello P&R.
    If Big Z comes back, come crunch time, I have no idea how Brown is going to line ‘em up. Whatever he does, they will either be good defensively or offensively. For me that is a problem, but its a good problem if you think about it. If they need to score in bunches, Bron, Mo, West, Jamison, Z. If they need to defend their lead, Bron, West, Hickson, Varejao, Z. Did I mention I believe Ilgauskas is way better than Shaq right now?

    I dont think any team improved to the point where we need to worry more than we already have.

  39. How under the radar is Denver this season? Granted, it is a Karl team, hence a playoff meltdown is always on the cards. But just looking at their list of scalps this season and K-Mart’s dramatic improvement, just have to wonder if the Nugs are this season’s equivalent of the 09 Magic? This team has a legit argument to being the best in the West, and I’m not sure if we shouldn’t respect them a lot more, beyond the usual “They’re-the-Nugs-they’ll-screw-this-up-somehow” spiel.

  40. @28 last I checked, Shaq was a laker in early 2000s, and his unwillingness to move out of the lane when kobe was driving still pissed me off. Small hole in his game considering his level of dominance, still pissed me off.

    Kobe is still in lakers, his shot selection still sends shivers to my spine. And if you paid attention to other posters, a lot of them mentioned it too, so I’d appreciate if you stopped making assumptions.

    Also, while it is fair to say Kobe’s game was a work very much in progress at Lebron’s age, it is exactly what it was, IN PROGRESS. Kobe was already practicing a lot of what he does today, while Lebron seemed to just make his accuraccy better. The tricky part about great potential, is that it is ridiculously frustrating when the player doesn’t live up to it.(see: andrew bynum) Also, his bulldozering should be credited equally to his physical prowess and to officiating not calling it an offensive foul when it happens.

    To end this long post, when both are healthy, I’d still pick Kobe over Lebron if my plan was to win NOW, but the margin has been lowering. But being #2 and not appreciating him are very different statements, in my view

  41. When you’re bigger and faster you don’t need footwork. The only reason it seems like Kobe has better footwork is because he needs change up moves to beat his man eventually, whereas Lebron’s first move beats his man. Lebron possesses incredible dribbling and footwork in order to get to the basket the way he does. Why do you think Tyrus Thomas, Stromile Swift, and others who have the length and athleticism unable to do what Lebron does and can simply be sagged off on?

    I think the thing he most needs to change is his mentality. He has the tools to play a post up game, and he bullies his defenders when he does. He just needs the mentality. Like he said himself. He prefers to play on the outside because its more fun and the post is boring to him.

  42. >Mwahahahahahahahahahaha. Sorry, can’t help but burst out in evil laughter at the Cavs losing 3 in a row. And, of course, Boston losing to Denver.

    Don’t sleep on the Nuggets! They’re shaping up to be the sternest Lakers challenge for this postseason by far

  43. What Anand said :)

  44. 42.

    Lebron doesn’t play in the post because its boring. LOL. No, he doesn’t because he can’t. He doesn’t have the tools. He doesn’t have the shooting technic, the balance and ohh THE FOOTWORK which allows kobe and other great post players to counter and score on anyone. Kobe needs footwork to beat his man. No, Kobe has great footwork and worked hard at details and technique because that’s what truly great players do. Footwork is why he’s been in the league 14 years and can dominate without physically overpowering people. Footwork and a post up game is why he can take people much bigger, stronger, and longer (lebron) into the post and embarrass them. People who don’t possess those skills is why those people who are bigger, stronger, longer and can jump higher (lebron) can’t score on smaller defenders in the post. Any time he’s in the post he looks to pass 99.99% of the time. If he catches the ball at the pinch post with his back to the basket, he turns around and faces up.

    I didn’t know driving to the basket required so much skill as you describe. If you actually watch games, he rarely just drives to the basket on smaller or defenders his size without a screen. The times he doesn’t use a screen to drive to the basket on some one is when he uses a screen to first create a mismatch and put a center on him. Which is all smart basketball to a certain degree. But lebron doesn’t have the skills

  45. Lebron’s closing is definitely in question. The only facts that need to be brought to light is the grand number of his championships, ie, 0. Not only that, but there has never been a year that you would have said Lebron has made a serious and legitimate attack on winning a ring. Last year does not count since he didn’t even make it to the Finals.

    He is definitely a physical specimen, and has the killer instinct. Perhaps not to Kobe’s level, but it is there. The question is not his instinct so much as his GAME.

    He is too one-dimensional. All Lebron has is his outstanding physical gifts. His skill is greatly lacking. He reminds me of a much more physically gifted Dwight Howard in that sense.

    The facts are that the Cavs have a BETTER supporting cast than the Lakers do. In my opinion, that is a FACT. Just look at some of our rotation players, Derek Fisher, Shannon Brown, Farmar, etc. Would any of those 3 get even 1 minute of playing time in Cleveland? Of course not. Even last year i though Lebron had an outstanding supporting cast.

    The problem was Lebron’s one-dimensional game. No skill to play TEAM basketball. This doesn’t mean he doesn’t get assists. Anyone who has the ball in his hands for 90% of the game will get a ton of those. The problem is that he did not and could not get EASY baskets for his teammates. In the Magic series last year it was all tough shots, either for LEbron or his teammates. The ability to make your teammates better via easy shots is what separates the current Lebron with Kobe at his best.

    Will Kobe be at his best, that is the question. If so, I would undoubtedly take that Kobe over Lebron. The facilitator Kobe who absolutely tore up the competition last year.