LeBron James is the NBA’s Best Except at the End of Games

5/8/12 in NBA   |   Jnewman482   |   141 respect

Feb. 23, 2012; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat small forward LeBron James (6) dunks past New York Knicks center Tyson Chandler (6) during the second half at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRELeBron James is the best basketball player on the planet. Cementing his status in the history books, he is about to win his third MVP award. This season he shot over 53 percent from the field while averaging 27.1 points, 6.2 assists, 1.9 steals, and 7.9 rebounds per game. Calling LeBron a stat sheet stuffer would be like calling Steve Novak a decent three-point shooter. It’s just insulting how much of an understatement that would be.

For anyone who doubts LeBron’s status as the “best player in the world” it has to be assumed that they would believe Kevin Durant deserves that title since he was the only player to legitimately challenge LeBron for the MVP award this season. Now if the title being discussed were “best scorer” then Durant would win. He has led the NBA in scoring the past three seasons.

But when it comes down to being an “all-around player”, Durant does not have the strength and power that make LeBron James an indestructible force on both offense and defense. Durant can’t finish at the rim like LeBron and he can’t defend like LeBron. It’s too bad the statistic for most “And 1” plays isn’t widely available but it is hard to believe that anyone has converted more 3-point plays from making a basket while being fouled than LeBron. But that comes secondary to LeBron’s ability to shutdown any player who poses an offensive threat. 

LeBron has been on the NBA’s All-Defensive First Team from 2009-11. That fact doesn’t show just how talented he is. This should help:

In April 2012, Carmelo Anthony was on a tear.  He might have been the hottest player in the league shooting 46 percent from behind the three-point line and averaging 29.8 points a game over the month. Yet, when the series against the Miami Heat began, Melo suddenly cooled off. Over the first three games of the series, he shot 34 percent from the field.

ESPN.com’s Brian Windhorst points out in his article that for the majority of Melo’s minutes, either LeBron or Shane Battier, who is also known as a defensive stopper, were guarding him. When Battier was given the task of slowing Melo down, he was able to hold him to 20/38 (53 percent). When LeBron was given the task of guarding the former Syracuse superstar, Melo shot 12/41 (29 percent). 

Miami might be celebrating a sweep if Erik Spoelstra hadn’t decided to put LeBron on Tyson Chandler in the fourth quarter of Game 4 leaving Battier on Melo who ended up with 41 points, 12 of them coming in the final quarter. In the first three games LeBron held Melo to an average of seven points in the fourth quarter. The Knicks only won Game 4 by two points. There is no such thing as certainty in sports, but according to that math this series would have been over if LeBron had been guarding Melo instead of the Knicks’ center.
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5/8/12   |   DeeRigga   |   5704 respect

kobe_lova wrote:
This is by definition a complete turn off. Ugh. F*** Lebron.

I agree...

5/8/12   |   kobe_lova   |   62297 respect

P.S. He is working on his end of the game failures. He himself is aware that he is disappointing at the end of games, and once he corrects that.... I will surely hate him more. Criticism, ridiculous or not, comes with the territory.

Go Knicks.

5/8/12   |   kobe_lova   |   62297 respect

DeeRigga wrote:
Oh look, another article that bashes LBJ towards the end of games on how ineffective he is.

Don't think I EVER heard this story.  Let's get one thing clear -

LeBron is the BEST ALL-AROUND PLAYER IN THE GAME TODAY. 
Beginning.
Middle.
END.

Stop overanalyzing or over Skip Bayless-ing, or whatever you want to call it.  Why is it that when Kobe passes, it's a TRUST issue, but when Lebron does it its because he's NOT the one at end of games??   I would hate to see LBJ win a championship because I am a Laker fan, but I want him to, so all haters would fall off.  This is a ridiculous issue.  To talk about.  AGAIN.

This is by definition a complete turn off. Ugh. F*** Lebron.

5/8/12   |   DeeRigga   |   5704 respect

Oh look, another article that bashes LBJ towards the end of games on how ineffective he is.

Don't think I EVER heard this story.  Let's get one thing clear -

LeBron is the BEST ALL-AROUND PLAYER IN THE GAME TODAY. 
Beginning.
Middle.
END.

Stop overanalyzing or over Skip Bayless-ing, or whatever you want to call it.  Why is it that when Kobe passes, it's a TRUST issue, but when Lebron does it its because he's NOT the one at end of games??   I would hate to see LBJ win a championship because I am a Laker fan, but I want him to, so all haters would fall off.  This is a ridiculous issue.  To talk about.  AGAIN.

5/8/12   |   WhoDat12   |   2252 respect

If he shoots and misses, he cant close.
If he passes to an open teammate to take the shot, he can't close.
If  he's not even involved in the final play, he can't close.

Lebron is damned if he does and damned if he doesnt.