Archive for the ‘LeBron James’ Category

LeBron Was Better In Game 4
May 15, 2008

lebron james

Almost everywhere you look, you will read something about Game 5 being LeBron’s “finest performance” of the series.  That’s a total load of crap written by people who only look at the “points” column of the box score and don’t really watch games.

Yes, LeBron pumped in 35 points… but 23 of them were in the first half.  He tailed off when it mattered most… and worst of all… he didn’t distribute the ball nearly as well as he did in Game 4.  He had 5 assists last night… and it wasn’t just because his teammates weren’t hitting.  It was because LeBron wasn’t interested in creating.

The difference between Game 5 LeBron and Game 4 LeBron is that last night… he got a taste of what it was like to get hot… and he liked it.  He wanted more of it.  In Game 4, he knew he was off… so he passed more.  He didn’t get hot until the end… when he hit clutch long-range shots and polished the Celtics off with a dunk that had everyone creaming themselves.

So while hacks will tell you that last night’s 35 point (12/25 fg), 5 assist, 3 rebound, 1 steal, 1 block performance was the best game LeBron’s had this series… I contend the 21 points (7/20 fg), 13 assists, 6 rebound, 3 steal and 2 block Game 4… a win… was MUUUUCH better.

And the final proof that Game 4’s performance was better than Game 5’s:  I think most C’s fans would much rather have LeBron submit a duplicate of last night’s game in Game 6…. than see Game 4 LeBron again. 

So to all the hacks saying last night’s game was LeBron’s best of the series… I would like to point out that there are about a dozen columns in the box score not labeled “points” for a reason. 

KG Feels Up LeBron, Is Impressed
May 15, 2008

We take a break from basketball talk to bring you childish dick jokes.

KG… looks like you got a handful of something there… we’ve got some women who read Red’s Army… care to help them with any details?

kevin garnett

Thanks KG. 

Its times like this that I’m proud I spent $100,000 on a prestigious journalism degree.

The REAL Reason LeBron & Pierce Were Off
May 7, 2008

lebron james and paul pierce

“Hey Paul…. SURPRISE!!”

Thanks to Danno for submitting this Herald photo in the comments.

Game 1 MVP’s: Pierce / Posey
May 7, 2008

James Posey

Let’s get one thing straight right away:  KG was a monster that shut a lot of people up.  He carried the team offensively, and he drove hard the hoop for what turned out to be a game winning layup.  Awesome game for KG… and that aggressiveness should scare Cavs fans.

But I want to make sure that the defensive effort on LeBron isn’t lost… especially since the national media will be swinging from LeBron’s sack… declaring that something must have been “off” with LeBron’s game.  Yeah… he might have missed a couple of shots he normally makes… but the real story was that Paul Pierce and James Posey smothered him all night long. 

I’ll go so far as to say I will gladly sacrifice Paul Pierce’s offensive numbers if it means he plays LeBron like that for the rest of the series.  He sacrificed his body and took two huge charges.  He forced LeBron into a number of turnovers… including a crucial travelling call late in the game.  Both Posey and Pierce kept LeBron in front of them for most of the game… and forced him to shoot (and miss) jumpers.  It was a great defensive effort last night… and I want to make sure its known out there that the Celtics defense threw LeBron off.

WBZ TV:  6 minutes of Pierce, KG postgame  |  Herald:  Pierce finds satisfaction in ‘D’ victory  |  Horror show  |  KG a pillar in the post  |  Cassell shows his stuff  |  LBJ’s off night dooms Cavs  |  C’s take game 1  |  Globe:  C’s pull out defensive battle  |  Ryan: Misses messed with our heads  |  Shaughnessy: James deals with cold, hard facts  |  On aggressiveness, that’s The Ticket  |  Cassell, Posey fill in blanks  |  KG 3rd in MVP voting  |  Z played central role in the middle  |  Wally, West handle adjustment  |  Thirst for first quenched  |  Souza:  Post-deadline thoughts  |  C’s survive scare  |  Megliola:  Game 1 a weird one |  Camerato:  LeBron comes up short  |  ESPN:  Daily Dime “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”  |  ESPN:  Why Orlando fans feel screwed today 

Boston Globe Photo / Jim Davis

Chatting With The Enemy
May 6, 2008

One of the cool things about blogging is the camaraderie with other blogs.  We’re always working on stuff together.  So Rick over at WaitingForNextYear.com, a Cleveland sports blog, have decided to get together for some conversations throughout the series.  Here’s what we’ve come up with today.

WFNY:Why don’t we start with the front court matchups- who scares you, what will Boston try to do with those match-ups…

RedsArmy:  My biggest fear is Cleveland on the offensive boards.  I don’t think there is any 1-on-1 matchup that scares me.  But what scares me is the focus on LeBron when he drives taking the attention away from box-out assignments.  If the Celts can get LeBron to pass off to the wing when he drives… and they DON’T rebound a miss… that will be a killer.  I can see a scenario where Perkins comes over to help, and no one rotates over to help block out the forward… and then we have an easy putback. 
 
I think the Celtics can take advantage of the slower Cavs frontcourt on the offensive end.  Garnett is too quick for Z and too tall for Wallace.  Perkins can bang with anyone… but he can also get in the right spot for the pass… and make you worry about leaving him to double.
 
As for the small forwards… LeBron is obviously one of the best ever… but Paul Pierce will make LBJ work on D.  Pierce’s best contribution to the defense might be to break LBJ down on the other end… force him to work… and maybe he’ll be too tired to drive on offense.  If Pierce can use his offense to make LeBron a jump shooter… then the Celtics have won a major battle.
 
So everyone is talking about the C’s being exposed by Atlanta.  What’s your take on that?

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Memo To Pierce: Attack LeBron
May 6, 2008

paul pierce and lebron jamesSometimes… the best defense is a great offense.  And maybe the best way Paul Pierce can defend LeBron James is by going at him on the offensive end.

By attacking LeBron, Paul will do one of 2 things.  He’ll either force LeBron to expend more energy than he wants on the defensive end… or LeBron will resort to some ole’ defense… and Pierce can maybe cancel him out in the scoring column.

If LeBron wants to D Pierce up… then run him off a few screens… make him chase Paul a little… and then Paul needs to attack the basket.  If we’re lucky… we’ll get a 3rd outcome… and LeBron will pick up some early fouls and will have to sit.  Either way… wearing him out on that end of the floor will make him more willing to settle for jumpers on his end of the floor.  And hey…. that’s fine with me.  If LeBron is scoring 30 on jumpers… then the Celtics will win by double digits… because that means the rest of the Cavs aren’t benefiting by a drive and dish.  LeBron won’t pull rebounders out of position… thus minimizing the threat of them grabbing offensive boards.  It will be harder for the rest of the team to score.

If LeBron lets Pierce go… then Pierce becomes the slasher and distributor.  We saw him do that in game 5 against the Hawks.  That’s when he’s at his best.  If Pierce has 25 and LeBron has 35… I’ll take it.  Because I think the rest of the Celtics can beat the rest of the Cavs by more than 10. 

So Paul… go right at LeBron.  Make him play both ends of the floor.  Because attacking him might be the best way to offset him.

Free Advice
May 6, 2008

avoid this guy

The Cavaliers are a desperate team.  Their management has posed as the  ‘And One’ Cavs blog on Cleveland.com (The Cleveland Plain Dealer website)… to solicit our advice.  Well OK Mike Brown “Carolyn”… here are the things Cleveland needs to do… to beat the Celtics.

Tip 1:  Avoid KG

Conventional wisdom is to go at KG… and try to get him in foul trouble.  He is, after all, our leading rebounder.  BUT… the real target down low is Kendrick Perkins… who clears out much more space, and who is much more prone to fouling.  And you saw in game 7 that when Perk has got it working, he can be a real catalyst out there.  Get Perk out early… and then you force Leon Powe and Glen Davis… 2 undersized guys… to box out 7 foot 3 Big Z. 

Tip 2:  Cut off the lane

The Celtics have shown they will settle for jumpers.  You just gotta hope they don’t get hot from downtown.  But cutting off the lane is your best chance to keep your rebounders in the game… and the Celtics off the line.  If Paul Pierce is in the lane… you’re screwed.  If he’s shooting fadeaways… you got a shot.

Tip 3:  Make your shots.

The Celtics #1 objective in thie series will probably be to force LeBron to take jumpers.  He’ll try to drive… but they’ll be blocking his path.  That means its time to get ready for the pass.  If LeBron’s drive and dish goes unrewarded… then Bron Bron will be forced to do it all himself… and we win.  So what if he scores 50… if the rest of the team can’t match him.

There you go.  3 free tips… not that it will help. The folks at the And One blog were nice enough to return the favor… and map out the Celtics path to victory.  Thanks for that.  Celtics in 6.

Herald: Keys to the series  |  How the C’s match up  |  C’s make pressure point  |  Celtics vs Cavaliers  |  Posey has guard up  |  Ray not fazed by cold spell  |  Bettors still dig Celtics  |  Globe:  LeBron – the one and only  |  Factors matter in this equation   |  Celtics view quickly comes into focus  |  This wasn’t a trash day  |  James gang gets a makeover  |  Photo gallery:  10 things casual fans might not know about the C’s   |  Souza:  C’s ready for 3-on-1 matchup  |  Enterprise:  Pierce faces tall task  |  Cleveland Plain Dealer:  Celtics mystique still carries weight  |  ESPN:  D’Antoni to Bulls?  |  Spurs down 0-2  |  Pistons up 2-0

Crazy Thought: Start Posey
May 5, 2008

I’m going to trash my own argument before I begin by saying you don’t toy with what has worked so far.  Your starting 5 is your starting 5… so we’re throwing Rondo, Ray, Pierce, KG and Perk out there against Cleveland.

But my counterpoint would be that you are always making minor adjustment as needed… so long as you’re not screwing with the overall product.  So therefore I submit my crazy idea:  Start James Posey. 

Consider this my attempt at being Belichickian… who will always attempt to take away your greatest strength and roll the dice on the weak link beating you.  Cleveland’s greatest strength is LeBron James… and starting Pose would let him cover LeBron from the outset.  Posey’s our best defender… and he’s pretty good from the outside… so he’s still a bit of an offensive threat.  And Ray would still get his 35 minutes or so… but he’d be the fresh anchor of our second team.  He’d essentially be our Ginobili.  Maybe… just maybe… this could force LeBron to do something different.  OR… it could force Mike Brown to do something he didn’t want to do. 

This, of course, would be something you cleared with Ray.  There’s a stigma with coming off the bench.  People will say “oooh…. Ray got benched” and they’d throw up his poor shooting numbers against the Hawks.  That’s not what this is about.  It’s about slowing LeBron down… forcing him to change his game ever so slightly… and maybe get off to a hot start.

You know… while we’re at it… you’d have to clear this with Paul Pierce… because he’s the guy getting pulled off his defensive assignment. 

I know this won’t happen… and I know there will be plenty of disagreement.  Hey… I’m not 100% behind this idea either… but its something that crossed my mind… so I figured I’d throw it out there.

What’s Washington’s Problem?
April 22, 2008

First… Washington came out trash talking like crazy… apparently trying to bait LeBron James into excluding his teammates in an effort to shut everyone up.  Now… they’ve switched to trying to kill him. 

This is bad news for Brendan Haywood.  You almost just maimed the face of the NBA.  You think you’re getting away with just a fine?  You’ll be lucky if David Stern doesn’t waterboard you.

rajon rondo and mike bibby

As for our C’s… the big talk today is still about our boy Rajon Rondo… and how he schooled a guy who once taught him the game (you see what I did there?  Brilliant, right?).  I love the photo of him getting ready to whip a 90 mph fastball off Bibby’s face (full Getty Images photo here). 

The Bibby/Rondo story goes like this: 

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Dethrone King James
February 16, 2008

Looks like the King is getting pissed off about the media hype surrounding the Celtics. Apparenty the mediocre Cavs aren’t getting enough respect.

“They’ve got to beat us,” James said. “Everyone says we’ve got to beat the Celtics. We are still the Eastern Conference champs. At some point, we are going to get respect. I’m sick about hearing about everyone else. We are the Eastern Conference champs.”

Yes, LeBron your team is conference champs. And some might say that team was one of the worst finals teams since…well, ever. Not to mention the Celtics (41-9) are 13 games ahead of you (29-23) in the standings.

There’s a great class up for the NBA Hall of Fame this year, including Dennis Johnson. He was a superb defender with a knack for knocking down big shots. Not to mention Larry Legend called him the greatest teammate ever. That alone should be enough for the Hall. Here’s hoping DJ makes it in….

Today’s Links: Why Rondo Owes KG 100 Pushups | Paul & Doc Reflect on Last Year | Wade, Billups Love Rondo | Kobe Might Play in ASG | Richard Jefferson Chokes Bar Patron |  Melo’s Woman in SI Swimsuit Issue |