I have defended LeBron against people trying to pick a part his game of the past 18 months, but right now, I can't defend him at all.
He just is not aggressive enough. I don't care that he is a playmaker, the fact he can't take these games over is just mindboggling to me. He is just so passive, and the fact that there was that huge stretch where Diaw was guarding him and NOT ONE TIME did LeBron just say, "f*ck it, I'm LeBron, I am going around you and dunking on you". In both of the Heat's losses in San Antonio, he just was aggressive and relevent less enough. I'm sorry, but this guy gets MJ talk all the time, and there is no way in hell MJ wouldn't be averaging at least low 30s in points in this series. There's no way in some of these games he wouldn't find a way to just impose his will and score whenever and where ever he wants to.
LeBron is still great, but if the Heat lose this series, that's 1 title in 10 years. Is this guy really a top 5 player of all time? I had no doubt a couple weeks ago he was the 2nd best player I'd ever seen. Then it took them 7 to squeak by an Indiana team they were better than. And now, they are in serious trouble of losing to the Spurs, and LeBron has been M.I.A. in their last two losses. And even the game they won, Wade's out of nowhere return to prominence was the key to that win.
i agree with you on the diaw part. WHY would u not attack, i do think hes easily gonna be one of the best players ever tho. The numbers wont lie. Karl Malone and Stockton never even won a championship along w a ton of other guys who are considered top 50 players. but yeah im w you, when diaw was gaurding him i thought he shoulda took the game over.
The difference is guys like Stockton and Malone aren't considered to be top 5 players of all time. You can be a great player without winning Championships, but to be mentioned in the top 5 of all time IMO it's about winning multiple rings. It's an interesting argument and a lot of people judge greatness by talent, rather than by performance. I think Lebron could be the most gifted player to ever play the game, but he's not in my top 5 for all-time greats. Some people act like that's crazy, but he has one ring and 2 losses in the finals.
So who are your top 5? Malone probably isn't now, but Stockton or Barkley are in most top 5's and have no rings. Basketball is still a team sport, great players can retire without rings.
The contact he was getting frustrated him.
He's going to need to have two ridiculously historic games, consecutively, for everyone to forget how badly he's played for the most part of this series.
Playing with two other HoFs and still losing in the Finals 2 years out of 3 would be a blemish on his legacy and his basketball goals as a whole. I honestly expected him to average 30-9-5 in the Finals but he is nowhere near that. I think I can say that Danny Green is outplaying and out-hustling LeBron.
He's had 4 pedestrian games out of 5 in the biggest stage, on the brightest lights. I can't really defend him at all in these Finals.
Without game 4, LeBron is averaging 18-10-7. Those are Scottie Pippen numbers, not Jordan.
Two other hall of famers.. do tell
If you don't think Wade or Allen are Hall of Famers, I've got news for you.
Barkley and Drexler are HoF too. They wouldn't be much help on a NBA team, though. The point is, Allen and Wade are not at their former HoF level.
I thought you were talking about Chris Bosh man (other tbird or of the big three. hahah sorry. The way you wrote it implies he is playing with 2 players playing at a halll of fame level. Which he is not
So did Dallas. It's the NBA Finals and it's not like they are losing to scrubs.
I agree completely. From a pure talent standpoint, there may be nobody ever as good as LeBron, but his lack of a killer instinct is what will always hold him back from being as great as Jordan.
If you tell me Wade is averaging 20p-5a, Bosh 14p-9r, and Ray Allen with 13 off the bench
I'd say the Heat won the series in 5 or maybe 6.
I agree that he needs to be more aggressive. But only for LeBron is 25 pts 6 rb 8 as and 4 zt. Be considered a bad game.
He shot 36% and never took advantage of mismatches. (i.e. Diaw)
He also had two turnovers down the stretch that took away Miami's chances at a comeback as well as shooting 1-5 for 3 points in the 4th quarter when you're the best player in the world
If he loses again he will be 1 and 3 in the Finals. That was Dr. J's record so that might be a good comparison.
Right now my top five all time is Jordan, Wilt, Kareem, Russell, and Magic. LeBron will need some more titles to get into that group.
With only one ring I don't think LeBron passes Bird, Duncan, Shaq, or Kobe. Then a toss up between LeBron, Oscar, West, Elgin Baylor,
and Hakeem for 10th place all time.
Actually Miami needs to be worried about their defense not how LeBron plays, they played well offensively to win, just poor defense *CAUGH Mike Miller CAUGH*
On the one hand I agree w/everyone sentiments about LBJ's play. However, the horrible D from the Heat is being overlooked. SA shot 60% tonight. That's flat-out ridiculous. More than anything else, the horrid D is why they lost. LBJ's middling performance is seriously puzzling though.
This will seem harsh and I won't get positive feedback but...he has shaky confidence. He is playing emotional, thinking about what people will say if he loses, misses a shot, doesn't take a shot, or whatever. That's why he makes bonehead plays and then tries to justify them by complaining. Another thing I didn't understand is walking back to the defensive sets on plays where he felt he was fouled. Isn't that considered quitting because if so I saw him do that about five times this game at least, doesn't that make him a quitter?Not saying he is a quitter Im just saying what the hell is walking back to your defensive set going to do other then put your team at further disadvantage.
Lebron has a losers mentality still, I thought he got rid of it last year but it's still lingering. If he feeds it with negative thoughts he will lose confidence, play angry/frustrated and eventually make bad uncoordinated plays leading to San Antonio's championship and an everlasting impression built within me that he is not a great champion, but still arguably the greatest talent.
Don't worry about the likes you will get. Lebron's confidence level changes with the amount of success that he has. Lebron is afraid to fail. And that type of mentality is really tough to over-come. I thought him winning last year would allow him to relax and be confident in his abilities but that appears not to be the case.
i think this is somewhat true, and its very easy to understand, he's had to live with being criticized on a national level since he was 16. Everything from being the next Jordan to burning his jerseys on the local news/ESPN. And with all the social media, all the people who love to see him fail. i think a number of these things have taken a toll on his emotional state over the years.
Was just killing them. It may not show it in the stat sheet but every time the heat had a run going, the 3 ball DESTORYED everything they worked for.
He was frustrated that every time he drove the lane and felt contact he got no foul call, while on the other end every time the Spurs drove the lane a foul was called. Just calling it as I see it.
The game I watched saw the Heat get 3 - 4 point play opportunities. I also saw Battier grab Khawi Leonard (Leonard was called for the foul) while trying to get out to contest a shot; Wade shot a jumper and the Heat got a 3 point play out of that. Lastly the Spurs shot 26 free throws and the Heat shot 23... a 3 free throw disparity is not a large margin.
I think we see what we want to see depending on our own biases.
The Spurs starters scored 107. Ideal small ball lineup.
The Spurs are just playing great basketball right now. If I am the Spurs in game 6 I am going inside to Tim Duncan to try and get him going. I also want to post up Kawhi Leonard if Mike Miller or D Wade is on him.
The game may or may not be a shoot out, so the Spurs will need the ability to grind one out. I think Splitter will need to give them some solid minutes off the bench as well as Neal. I would run a play or two for Matt Bonner too. See what he has. He might be due for a good game.
Still though, the spurs have one of he best defenses In the league.
i had said that if he didnt win this finals it would not tarnish his legacy.. but i def. change my mind now... hes not stepping up at all... he played well in game 1 and game 4 and thats it so far... his team won 27 games in a row.. had that streak of 60 percent shooting or something... but its all his confidence... last yr against the thunder, he didnt let his haters get in his way, but his mental makeup this series has not been good... his jumper is the key to his success
I think Lebron is just relaxing and letting D-Wade control the game. I noticed the last two games it has been a lot more of D-Wade controlling the offense and Lebron has been sitting back and lately is only expected to bail them out on last second situations (at the end of the shot clock he takes it in hoping for a call or the basket and when he doesn't get the call he gets angry and argues with the official thus wasting time he could be using on defense.) If Miami wants to win, Lebron needs to have the ball in his hands more, the issue is D-Wade doesn't play well WITHOUT the ball in his hands. So they're in quite the situation here. It's basically, D-Wades turn, Lebrons turn, D-wades turn, Lebrons turn. But Lebron isn't built for that, he is meant to control EVERYTHING. So yeah going to be interesting to see what the Heat do in the end.
the Heat in the final 2 games. I'm telling all of you right now. The fix has always been in. Keep the series interesting, make SURE it goes 6 or 7 games, and keep the media talking. David Stern is a master of these things.
The refs WILL find their whistles come Game 6. Mark my mother loving words. Game 7...that one's the only one that'll matter. .
But I told you so....pretty brutal reffing in Game 6.
I think one thing this post-season has highlighted is just how remarkable Jordan's mental fortitude to remain aggressive and confident for two three-peats.
Lebron needs the added pressure of having his back against the wall to play his best, or have absolutely no pressure at all (Thunder series), if there is that mid-range of pressure where he was to generate his own greatness, he just seems to coast.
He also is proving that he can't co-exist and stay engaged with another star player like Wade. It's very much one of the other, because both of them have that alpha-dog mentality. I'll say this, he really hasn't played like a champion against teams who are a bit older and wiser. This is a bit different to taking advantage of a young team like OKC, the Spurs and Mavericks took him out of his comfort zone because they weren't afraid of him.
Why the criticisms Im reading are certainly valid about killer instinct lets wait till they lose the series to bury them. I've seen this movie before.
Outside of big men, the two most talented players I ever saw in the NBA were The Big O (Oscar Robertson) and Michael Jordan. IMHO, LeBron James is right up there with both of them. I think the initial post in this thread is off base, you don't judge a player by 1 or 2 games.
In addition to possibly being the greatest physical talent in NBA history, one thing I always loved about LeBron is the fact that he's a TEAM PLAYER. I find it mind boggling that so many criticize him so harshly because of his emphasis upon fitting in with the team concept.
Being a team player is all well and good, but you're not being a very good team player if you disappear when your team needs you the most.
Magic Johnson, Larry Bird and Michael Jordan were all great team players too, but they also knew when to be aggressive and take over games. There's a HUGE difference between being a team player and being passive.
I agree with your comments but I was talking about LeBron's career as opposed to the past 2 or 3 games in the Spurs series. Whenever LeBron loses, he is criticized for being a team player versus taking over the game.
I love the fact that LeBron always placed a premium on getting his teammates involved because that's how you win in the game of basketball. How much team play is too much and when he should be more aggressive is a judgment call. Maybe he should've been more aggressive the past 2 games but let's wait until the series is over before making sweeping judgments.
IMHO, LeBron (just like the Big O and MJ) is unstoppable. He can score or get fouled on every trip to the offensive end of the court. Is that what people really want? LeBron has to calculate when he should fit in and when he should take over the game. That's not always an easy call.
Yes LeBron is a great player, but he simply doesn't have that "killer, shove the ball down their throat" attitude!!! Players like Bird, Magic, Jordan, Barkley, Stockton..etc..had that attitude. No matter the score of the game, pre-season game or not, they were not going to slow down and allow the other team/player to win, score, get a rebound. LeBron James simply doesn't have that in him! There's many players that have less skill than LeBron and others that are in the league because they have that attitude. Bosh is other one that doesn't have it either. Member the Heat vs the Mavs a few years back? LeBron would disappear in the final quarter.
King James is really more like Prince James!
He has it in him. I don't see why everyone says he doesn't have a killer instinct. Do you just disregard games like his domination of the Celtics or my Pistons? He's had some of the biggest games ever in playoff history in key moments. That is not someone who has zero killer instinct.
Every time Miami loses a game we hear the same thing about LeBron. If Miami turns it around and wins the series, everybody will jump on the bandwagon and talk about how great he is.
The facts are obvious to me and I've been watching the NBA since the early 1960's. LeBron is the most phenomenal athlete to ever play the game and the physical skill set is accompanied by an extremely high basketball IQ, and a willingness to get his teammates involved which I think is fantastic.
Here's a quick story which will hopefully illustrate my argument. Approximately 5 or 6 years, it was the last play of the game with Cleveland down by 2 points. LeBron drove towards the basket and was immediately double/triple teamed so he passed to a WIDE OPEN teammate who missed the final shot of the game.
Guess what? ESPN replayed that sequence continually for the next 24 hours with their so called experts trashing LeBron, proclaiming great players always take the big shot. I DON'T THINK SO! LeBron understood his teammate had an easy, wide open look at the basket. If that teammate would have made the shot, those same analysts would have described that final play as a great pass from a super star.
The point is one doesn't have to continually shoot and/or take a lot of shots to be a super star. There's a lot more to basketball than just scoring and LeBron does it all. Every year he's worked on and improved his weaknesses.
As for last night's game, Wade and LeBron took 44 shots which was more than half of Miami's shots. That was more than enough.
i agree 100%
Have you ever seen Stockton play in person? Think about it...a tiny, no hops, coming out of a tiny college, 6'1 point guard that had the career he had.....oh yes, John Stockton wanted to shove the ball down anyone's head!!! And it's not because the Heat lose last night, its because John Stockton had more drive than LeBron.
Heres the thing with LeBron...if he wants to be Magic, that's fine, but that is what his good games have become. His good games are 12-16 shooting and a triple double. There's no 40 point games, no total, everyone get out of my way because I am unstoppable runs. He is dependent on role players hitting jump shots.
The difference is, the Kobe's (keep in mind numerous times I have said LeBron is superior) and the MJ's would have those 10-29 shooting games, but they would find a way to get it done when it mattered most. LeBron may rarely have those type games, but he's had two in this series, and both times he shied away from the 4th quarter because he was playing poorly, whereas MJ/Kobe would say "screw it, I'm still the star of this team, I don't care if I've been bad I'm winning us this game". LeBron's philosophy works so well in the regular season, but come playoff time, you need that takeover switch. Look at Steve Nash, he was one of the best passers in NBA history, and even he knew come playoff time he had to start scoring in the high 20s-30s. You have to be more aggressive in the playoffs, that's the bottomline. And LeBron has done this before, in 2009 especially. But this season, he is just so reliant on his playmaking over his scoring, and when his shooting isn't going well he becomes so ineffective, even if his stats are still good by most standards.
FvckSwag666 made some good points but I have another perspective. First, let me point out that I don't like Miami and was rooting for Indiana so I'm not biased in favor of Miami or LeBron. But there's no avoiding how fantastic he is at so many aspects of the game.
I'm not sure what playoffs FvckSwag666 was watching but LeBron destroyed Milwaukee and Indiana and clearly looked like the best player in the NBA while doing such.
First, people are programmed into thinking a certain way and have a hard time going outside the box and evaluating and/or examining things from a different perspective. Because most of the previous elite NBA players did it via scoring, they continue to evaluate LeBron only on points scored in the playoffs or at crunch time. Although he could be if he wanted to, he isn't a scoring machine. LeBron's a unique super star who wants to win by keeping his teammates involved and trusting them in key moments of the game. He excels at every component of the game, especially defense.
Next, people forget that MJ was prolific scorer his first few years in the NBA but never won anything until he figured out he needed to trust his teammates in crunch time. How many times was Michael double or triple teamed and found a wide open John Paxon or Steve Kerr who usually nailed key 3 pointers?
Face it, LeBron has some very talented teammates in Dwayne Wade, Ray Allen, and Chris Bosch. IMHO, he would be very foolish if he didn't trust them to make big shots.
I never refuted anything you argued there, at all.
I especially never said anything about him not dominating earlier rounds in ways beyond scoring.
And you are certainly right about MJ not winning until he trusted his teammates.
But the point is, LeBron doesn't dominate with his scoring enough. Scoring is most direct way to impact a game. You can set guys up all night, but when you have the talent he does, he has to score at will from time to time.
Jordan trusted his teammates, but still took a ton of shots because he knew the majority of them would go in. LeBron lacks the killer instinct. You can't say after 2 of the last 3 finals have been marred with his passiveness that you don't at least question him a bit. Watch the 2009 ECF. It is in him. The total, dominant take over LBJ is in there. He just prefers to be a Magic Johnson type, passing and playmaking but not totally locked into to dominating the game from a scoring aspect. And at this time,t hats what his team needs.
I apologize if I didn't make point clearer, but I was referring to your criticism of LeBron failing to be aggressive in the playoffs. He looked very aggressive to me against both Indiana and Milwaukee.
As for your other points, I thought you did an excellent job. If I remember correctly, I said you made some very good points. I just happen to have a different perspective on LeBron's game. People see the world differently and I just happen to think dominating a game at the end just isn't in LeBron's DNA as it was with MJ but he can be just as effective with his killer defense, excellent passing, and high basketball IQ.
I think I mentioned somewhere that nobody on the planet can stop LeBron and if he wanted to score or get fouled on every offensive trip, he could do such. However, I think LeBron always thought of himself as a team player first and scores when the opportunity presents itself. MJ was very different, he was an assassin and thought his job was to demoralize the defense with his scoring.
MJ was and LeBron are incredible players with different personalities. This is not directed at you FvckSwag666 but I think too many people expect LeBron to be another MJ.
Sometimes great coaches compose great schemes to slow down team's best players, it happens. Lebron's poor games in this series were bad for him but he came up when it mattered most and hit the shots he needed to. Give the man his dap.