Wednesday, May 12, 2010

What happened to Lebron James?

"One of the biggest playoff wins in KNICKS history."

--'s John Hollinger


First, let me apologize for not posting as much as I wanted to during the Playoffs.
Now that that is out of the way, WHAT IS GOING ON WITH LEBRON JAMES?!

I watched Game 5 last night and that is by far the poorest performance I have seen him put in as a pro. And my assessment has nothing to do with his stat line. He just wasn't trying. He wasn't tuned in or focused on helping his team in the game. His shot wasn't falling, and instead of focusing on the other facets of his game (rebounding. defense, passing) which in my opinion makes him MORE dangerous then when he is scoring, what does he do? Check out of the game! His play affected his team as well. No one could get it going, and the Boston Celtics, long thought to be old and washed up, wrecked them. In Cleveland. This is unfathomable.

At this point in time, I can't see Cleveland making the East finals, much less the NBA Finals. They just don't have the personnel. They have coasted through the regular season, and now, for a 3rd straight year, are being exposed to have a lot of bark and no bite. Besides Lebron James, the Cleveland Cavaliers have NO ONE who demands respect from any team. Now compare that statement with the Lakers roster. Even if you are a Laker's hater, they have personnel who are a threat whenever, or where ever they play. Pau Gasol is one of the top big men in the league. Lamar Odom can at any moment grab a rebound, block a shot, initiate the offense, defend the other team's best player, or hit a jumper. Ron Artest can defend and at the very least rough up the other team's best player (Kevin Durant, anyone?) as well as occasionally hit an open jumper.The Mo Williams experiment is dead. He does not have the tools or the skills to be a confident dependable #2 option for this team. Ditto for the rest of the roster, including Shaq. In my opinion, Lebron needs a Joe Johnson or Lamar Odom. Get them and things get better in a hurry. Someone who can defend the other teams best player, initiate offense on their own, and be enough of a threat to demand attention (essentially, replicate Scottie Pippen's role and performance). This also has proven to me that in the end, Boston, LA, and Orlando have better TEAMS (by far!) than Cleveland. It is actually a tribute to how great Lebron is that he has been able to mask their shortcomings. But make no mistake. This Cavs teams is downright fraudulent when it comes to being a contender. They can't defend consistently or rebound. Even if they pull off a comeback miracle in this series, DO NOT expect them to make it to the Finals or to win against the Lakers (yes, I'm picking them already). I can't give Lebron a bail out as far as his injury goes because he never even asserted himself and attempted shots. At no point did he play like the alpha dog for the Cavs, and that is what shocked me the most. It's almost as if they don't think they can win. This game may very well stand as an example as how much more he has to go to be considered the best or even one of the best to ever play the game.