Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Knicks Morning News (Friday, Jun 08 2012)

  • [New York Times] Playoffs | Eastern Conference Finals Game 6: Heat 98, Celtics 79: LeBron James Takes Game 6 Personally (Fri, 08 Jun 2012 07:00:41 GMT)
    LeBron James had 45 points and 15 rebounds, overwhelming the Celtics and leading the Heat to a victory that forced a Game 7 in the Eastern Conference finals.

  • [New York Times] On Basketball: 2012 N.B.A. Playoffs – Thunder’s Derek Fisher Works His Way Into Another Finals (Fri, 08 Jun 2012 06:24:06 GMT)
    The Thunder acquired Derek Fisher to provide some leadership to a young team, yet there he was Wednesday night, playing the entire fourth quarter as Oklahoma City eliminated the Spurs.

  • [New York Times] Western Conference Finals: 2012 N.B.A. Playoffs – Spurs Tip Their Hats to the Thunder (Fri, 08 Jun 2012 01:31:59 GMT)
    After losing the Western Conference finals on Wednesday, the Spurs praised the Thunder’s incredible playoff run, including victories over Dallas and the Los Angeles Lakers.

  • [New York Times] On Pro Basketball: Miami Heat’s Problem Goes Beyond the Big 3 (Fri, 08 Jun 2012 00:21:55 GMT)
    If Miami fails again this spring, it will only bolster the two most prominent themes: that LeBron James lacks some intangible championship gene, and that the Heat’s model is flawed.

  • [New York Times] James Scores 45, Sends East Finals to Game 7 (Fri, 08 Jun 2012 05:55:38 GMT)
    LeBron James pushed away elimination, right along with any defender who tried to stop him.

  • [New York Times] Brilliant James Red-Hot as Heat Tie Series in Boston (Fri, 08 Jun 2012 05:04:24 GMT)
    A red-hot night from LeBron James fired the Miami Heat to a crushing 98-79 victory over the Boston Celtics on Thursday, sending the NBA Eastern Conference Final series to a decisive seventh game.

  • [New York Times] Brilliant James Red-Hot as Heat Tie Series With Boston (Fri, 08 Jun 2012 03:31:37 GMT)
    A red-hot night from LeBron James fired the Miami Heat to a crushing 98-79 victory over the Boston Celtics on Thursday, sending the NBA Eastern Conference Final series to a decisive seventh game.

  • [New York Times] Celtics Blow Best Chance, Will Get Another in G7 (Fri, 08 Jun 2012 04:55:30 GMT)
    The shots weren’t falling, the fans were streaming out of the building and Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers had long ago conceded defeat by lifting his starters.

  • [New York Times] Eastern Conference Finals Game 6: Heat 98, Celtics 79: James Leads Heat to Game 7 Against Celtics (Fri, 08 Jun 2012 09:31:57 GMT)
    LeBron James had 45 points and 15 rebounds, overwhelming the Celtics and leading the Heat to a victory that forced a Game 7 in the Eastern Conference finals.

  • 61 comments on “Knicks Morning News (Friday, Jun 08 2012)

    1. Frank

      According to ESPN, the Bulls might not resign either CJ Watson or Ronnie Brewer. Both those guys would be great pickups for us if they were willing to play for the minimum. Watson would be great as a backup PG for Lin, and Brewer ‘s presence could take a lot of pressure off Melo to guard the LBJs and Pierces of the world. If someone could ever teach Brewer how to shoot he’d be really valuable.

    2. d-mar

      I don’t understand how LeBron can completely dominate a game basically by himself in a performance for the ages, but just 48 hours earlier, he scores 2 points in the last 8 minutes in a devastating loss at home. He just seems like a guy who’s great when everything is going his way and the team is rolling, but as soon as any kind of adversity arises, he shrinks from the moment.

      I know it’s not the day to be criticizing LBJ, but I won’t put him into that upper echelon of all time greats until he carries his team down the stretch in a critical game (and we may get to see it in the Finals vs. OKC) And mark my words, his atrocious foul shooting will end up costing the Heat in one of those games also.

    3. Frank

      by the way, it was full-on hero-ball last night. Amazing how good it looks when the shots go in.

      @2 – I would say being down 3-2 on the road counts as adversity and a critical game, so you have to give LBJ props for last night. The question is, can he bring it EVERY night, especially at the end of a brutally scheduled regular season and 45min/game playoff schedule?

      So much for the big 3 also – LBJ shot 19 of 26, the rest of the team shot 18 for 50. LBJ’s usage was 41.1 last night.

    4. thenamestsam

      d-mar:
      t.

      I know it’s not the day to be criticizing LBJ, but I won’t put him into that upper echelon of all time greats until he carries his team down the stretch in a critical game (and we may get to see it in the Finals vs. OKC) And mark my words, his atrocious foul shooting will end up costing the Heat in one of those games also.

      Man, this is a seriously dumb standard. So far in the two biggest games of his teams season he has had a 40-19-9-2-2 and now a 45-15-5. If you don’t see a guy stepping up when the chips are down, you are literally blinded by your own bias. He didn’t carry them down the stretch, because guess what? He didn’t have to. Yesterday winning time was in the 2nd and 3rd quarter when Lebron answered every attempt at a run with an absolute dagger.

      If you don’t see the adversity he was facing last night you’re crazy. Everything he planned in Miami on the verge of collapsing. Knowing he personally is going to get absolutely crucified if they lose. His whole legacy on the line if he shoots 40%. On the road in front of a crazy crowd. Against his fiercest rivals. But yes, let’s see him do it with a little adversity. Last night the degree of difficulty just wasn’t there.

    5. d-mar

      thenamestsam: Man, this is a seriously dumb standard. So far in the two biggest games of his teams season he has had a 40-19-9-2-2 and now a 45-15-5. If you don’t see a guy stepping up when the chips are down, you are literally blinded by your own bias. He didn’t carry them down the stretch, because guess what? He didn’t have to. Yesterday winning time was in the 2nd and 3rd quarter when Lebron answered every attempt at a run with an absolute dagger.

      If you don’t see the adversity he was facing last night you’re crazy. Everything he planned in Miami on the verge of collapsing. Knowing he personally is going to get absolutely crucified if they lose. His whole legacy on the line if he shoots 40%. On the road in front of a crazy crowd. Against his fiercest rivals. But yes, let’s see him do it with a little adversity. Last night the degree of difficulty just wasn’t there.

      Game 5 vs. Celtics, absolute must win, you cannot lose game 5 at home, 2 points in the last 8 minutes

      Game 6 last year vs. Dallas, at home, closeout game for the Mavs, complete disappearing act in the fourth quarter, series over.

      Look, I’m not taking anything away from last night, that was a monumental performance, I just want to see him with a minute left in the 4th quarter of a critical game at the foul line with his team down 1 or 2 and see what happens. Someday maybe he’ll prove me wrong and carry his team down the stretch when they need him to,
      and then I will bow to the man.

    6. thenamestsam

      d-mar: Game 5 vs. Celtics, absolute must win, you cannot lose game 5 at home, 2 points in the last 8 minutes

      Game 6 last year vs. Dallas, at home, closeout game for the Mavs, complete disappearing act in the fourth quarter, series over.

      Look, I’m not taking anything away from last night, that was a monumental performance, I just want to see him with a minute left in the 4th quarter of a critical game at the foul line with his team down 1 or 2 and see what happens. Someday maybe he’ll prove me wrong and carry his team down the stretch when they need him to,
      and then I will bow to the man.

      My point isn’t that he has never failed. He has. Guess who else is in that category? Every player. Ever. Jordan is in there. Kobe is in there. But if you honestly think that he has never carried his team home in a critical game you need to get your head out of the sand.

      Someday maybe he’ll prove you wrong? You mean someday like 5 years ago in Detroit? Or do you mean someday like 3 years ago in Orlando? Or do you mean someday like last year against the Celtics and Bulls?

    7. Eternal OptiKnist

      Couldn’t agree more….wow, whatta performance he put on. I’m so over him not coming to NY at this point and i’m back to being in awe of what a talent he is…a very good feeling to be able to enjoy watching a once-in-a-lifetime player.

    8. johnlocke

      Look, I really wanted Lebron to b/c a Knick and hated on him b/c of his Decision fiasco coupled with the “not one, not two, not three…championships fiasco”…but the guy was averaging 30 points and 10 boards with like 4-5 assists per game on 50% shooting BEFORE last night. That is INSANE. I can’t think of another superstar in any other sport with the expectations this guy has on him. Last night was win or go home …I don’t love Lebron, but last night definitely made me respect him more. He just completely dominated and broke the will of the entire Celtic team. Damn. One of his two best ever playoff performances IMHO. Can’t wait for Game 7.

      d-mar: I don’t understand how LeBron can completely dominate a game basically by himself in a performance for the ages, but just 48 hours earlier, he scores 2 points in the last 8 minutes in a devastating loss at home. He just seems like a guy who’s great when everything is going his way and the team is rolling, but as soon as any kind of adversity arises, he shrinks from the moment. I know it’s not the day to be criticizing LBJ, but I won’t put him into that upper echelon of all time greats until he carries his team down the stretch in a critical game (and we may get to see it in the Finals vs. OKC) And mark my words, his atrocious foul shooting will end up costing the Heat in one of those games also.

    9. chrisk06811

      Would it be possible to get robert or Jim to do a report card on what the fella are doing yesterday / today etc? I don’t need every day, but maybe in general. I’m curious what the grade is for giving an 8 carot ring and proposing to the woman who has already had your child. Wait, 2 children. Holy shit, 3? I can also see a “hi jerome” at a taco bell. Maybe whatever Novak did yesterday involved no driving whatsoever. But I don’t want to write someone elses funny. I guess what I’m saying is, I miss Jim and Robert’s writeups.

    10. formido

      I don’t think anyone’s ever claimed he hasn’t come through in critical moments? That’s not the criticism. If you don’t recognize the real criticism made against Lebron, and the reality of the situation, I’d say you’re the one with the bias. It was just LAST GAME that he disappeared. Jordan had bad games–he didn’t disappear. Ever. Kobe has had tons of monstrously bad games in Finals, so bad that comparing Kobe to Jordan is beyond silly. But, he never disappeared. He was always in the thick of things, albeit taking bad shots and making bad plays sometimes. Kobe’s flaws are different from Lebron’s flaws. Lebron’s flaw is that, at least up until now, he becomes passive and stops making plays during some critical games.

      Lebron needs to be redeemed if he wants to be considered one of the top 1 or 2 players of all time. Maybe that redemption will come this year. Maybe he will overcome his limitations. I dearly hope so because I’m a giant Lebron fan. The fact that Miami was one three pointer off by 2 inches from putting Dallas down 3-1 last year frustrated me incredibly. I wanted him to shut up all the haters. But his intermittent insouciance during big games is impossible to overlook.

      If he doesn’t care to be GOAT, then great. But I think we’re talking about GOAT status, and in that case, pretending he has nothing to make up for is absurd.

      thenamestsam: If you don’t see a guy stepping up when the chips are down, you are literally blinded by your own bias.

    11. jon abbey

      d-mar: Game 5 vs. Celtics, absolute must win, you cannot lose game 5 at home, 2 points in the last 8 minutes.

      you can lose game 5 at home if you can singlehandedly win game 6 on the road.

      the issue with LeBron isn’t that he’s held to a way higher standard than everyone else since Jordan (he is) and it’s not that he fails in the clutch sometimes (everyone does). it’s that he inexplicably seems to stop trying down the stretch in big games occasionally, which is pretty unprecedented for a player of his level (which there have only ever been a handful of, to be fair.)

    12. thenamestsam

      johnlocke:
      Look, I really wanted Lebron to b/c a Knick and hated on him b/c of his Decision fiasco coupled with the “not one, not two, not three…championships fiasco”…but the guy was averaging 30 points and 10 boards with like 4-5 assists per game on 50% shooting BEFORE last night.That is INSANE. I can’t think of another superstar in any other sport with the expectations this guy has on him. Last night was win or go home …I don’t love Lebron, but last night definitely made me respect him more. He just completely dominated and broke the will of the entire Celtic team. Damn. One of his two best ever playoff performances IMHO. Can’t wait for Game 7.

      I think this is exactly right. I think in a big way people have become so obsessed with the things he doesn’t do, that they are almost numb to the things he does do. For everyone saying he can’t perform under pressure, the pressure he has on him literally every night is (I would argue) completely unprecedented in the history of sports. As the announcers correctly pointed out, imagine the reaction if Lebron had had Pierce’s night last night. Seriously, try to imagine it. The scrutiny on his performance on a night to night basis is the same as for basically any other guy in a game 7 of an NBA finals. I mean he doesn’t even get a 1 day grace period after one of the greatest playoff stat lines in history.

      As our own beloved Wilson Chandler said last night on twitter:

      “Bron averaging damn near 30 in the playoffs and everybody saying if he can play like he playing 2night every game… Smh”

      Well said Wilson, well said. So much hate is right.

    13. jon abbey

      thenamestsam: For everyone saying he can’t perform under pressure, the pressure he has on him literally every night is (I would argue) completely unprecedented in the history of sports.

      Jordan had at least as much pressure on him, pre-Twitter age or not. guys came at him with their best game every night, I still remember LaBradford Smith having a career night against him (37 points even though his team lost, his career high besides that was 22) and probably happy with his career solely because of that night.

      http://www.basketball-reference.com/boxscores/199303190CHI.html

    14. thenamestsam

      formido:
      I don’t think anyone’s ever claimed he hasn’t come through in critical moments? That’s not the criticism.

      This is just flagrantly wrong. I mean look at the comment I responded to: “I just want to see him with a minute left in the 4th quarter of a critical game at the foul line with his team down 1 or 2 and see what happens. Someday maybe he’ll prove me wrong and carry his team down the stretch when they need him to”. That doesn’t imply that he has never come through in critical moments? A large part of the NBA fanbase at large clearly IS making the argument that he has never come through in big moments.

      The disappearing thing, which is a distinct but related argument is far more reasonable, and of course I see the basis for it. However, I really think it’s ignoring the far larger body of evidence in favor of the smaller one. The “disappearing” accusation has only really arisen in the last year, and rightfully so. He certainly never had the luxury of disappearing in Cleveland. The only time I ever remember seeing him disengaged was that last series against Boston, and I think it’s basically accepted at this point that there were some seriously strange extenuating circumstances at play there (the whole Delonte thing). Other than that the ball was always in his hands. People criticized him for passing instead of forcing up shots, but you couldn’t say he disappeared. Last year he was an absolute assassin in crunch time against Boston and Chicago.

      Then you have the finals. It’s inarguable. They should have won that series, and if he’d been 50% of the player he was in the other rounds they would have. He was invisible. Why? Maybe he was exhausted from a crazy minute load. Maybe as Wade got hot he was unsure how to fit in effectively as a complimentary piece. Or maybe he wilted.

      I don’t know. But we’re hardly talking about a pattern…

    15. thenamestsam

      Oh also I can see that everyone wants to lump Boston game 5 in there with this “pattern” but it seems like at best a fishy example to me. Why do only the last 8 minutes of the 4th quarter count now? What about the 7 points he had in the first 4 minutes of the 4th quarter. We’re really moving the goal posts that blatantly? In those last 8 minutes he took 4 shots, drove down the lane and got a hockey assist on an open 3, and set up another open 3 that was missed. That doesn’t seem like it exactly qualifies as invisibility.

    16. Kevin McElroy

      To those saying they “Want to see LeBron come up big in a close playoff game,” It took me literally less than one minute to pull this up:

      http://tinyurl.com/74ct8f3

      Feel free to click on individual games to pull up box scores and see margins of victory. For example, three of the top 5 were decided by 2 points or less (all LeBron wins) and the other two were blowouts that were entirely of LeBron’s making (which is maybe the single laziest argument for faulting someone’s big game chops). The story is largely the same as you go further down the list. Sure there are some stinkers in there, although even some of the “stinkers” would represent career highlights for hundreds of NBA players.

      If you’d like to continue making skewed claims that have no basis in fact, just avoid that link.

    17. TelegraphedPass

      jon abbey: Jordan had at least as much pressure on him, pre-Twitter age or not.

      It’s difficult to imagine anyone facing the same amount of pressure as LeBron. Pre-Jordan, who was the wing player held up as the greatest ever? Dr. J? The Big O?

      LeBron is constantly compared to Jordan because of his talent and ability to do damn near whatever he wants on the court. Not to throw shade at MJ, but Jordan has become a mythological figure in basketball lore. It’s almost impossible to look at him objectively because of the incredible marketing Nike and Jordan Brand have accomplished.

      LeBron is literally criticized for the way he eats his steak at this point. Not an exaggeration. Every smile, every book read in the locker room, every postgame quote, every pass in crunchtime becomes symbolic of why LeBron just doesn’t have “it.” Whatever it is.

      Jordan’s gambling issue wasn’t nearly as commonly known among NBA fans as LeBron’s trying to erase footage of him getting dunked on.

      Stars today are scrutinized at a level imcomparable to those of yesteryear.

    18. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      jon abbey: god, I wish people got major electric shocks every time they typed this.

      Don’t be mad that you can’t admit that you explain phenomena post facto to suit your intuition without being able to counter substantial analysis or data beyond claims that your opinion’s veracity is self-evident. Cry, cry, cry.

    19. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      TelegraphedPass: It’s difficult to imagine anyone facing the same amount of pressure as LeBron. Pre-Jordan, who was the wing player held up as the greatest ever? Dr. J? The Big O?

      LeBron is constantly compared to Jordan because of his talent and ability to do damn near whatever he wants on the court. Not to throw shade at MJ, but Jordan has become a mythological figure in basketball lore. It’s almost impossible to look at him objectively because of the incredible marketing Nike and Jordan Brand have accomplished.

      LeBron is literally criticized for the way he eats his steak at this point. Not an exaggeration. Every smile, every book read in the locker room, every postgame quote, every pass in crunchtime becomes symbolic of why LeBron just doesn’t have “it.” Whatever it is.

      Jordan’s gambling issue wasn’t nearly as commonly known among NBA fans as LeBron’s trying to erase footage of him getting dunked on.

      Stars today are scrutinized at a level imcomparable to those of yesteryear.

      Here, I’ll respond for jon abbey:

      “Nuh uh, nuh uh, nuh uh. You must be crazy. You should be electrocuted for thinking that. Nuh uh, nuh uh, nuh uh.”

    20. thenamestsam

      TelegraphedPass:

      Stars today are scrutinized at a level imcomparable to those of yesteryear.

      This is what I think to although I think this is a fascinating topic, and I see Abbey’s point too. I think by the end of his career Jordan had achieved that mythical status to some extent and because of that there was a lot of pressure within the league to try to topple him, as Abbey points out. But in terms of the pressure in the overall NBA community, I don’t think it was comparable. When Jordan had bad playoff games (and it did happen) it was discussed and then let go. Every bad Lebron game exists in this echo chamber indefinitely. Having to perform every game knowing that even the greatest games will be shrugged off immediately and the worst games will live on indefinitely is something Jordan never faced.

    21. Robtachi

      Just because you copy/paste the definition of “confirmation bias” doesn’t validate your point or bestow upon you an impenetrable aura of rightness. In fact in itself, that is a form of confirmation bias you’re employing to combat his confirmation bias. Just talk facts instead of hiding behind flowery, overused and poorly understood writing cliches.

      The Honorable Cock Jowles: Don’t be mad that you can’t admit that you explain phenomena post facto to suit your intuition without being able to counter substantial analysis or data beyond claims that your opinion’s veracity is self-evident. Cry, cry, cry.

    22. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      Robtachi:
      Just because you copy/paste the definition of “confirmation bias” doesn’t validate your point or bestow upon you an impenetrable aura of rightness. In fact in itself, that is a form of confirmation bias you’re employing to combat his confirmation bias.Just talk facts instead of hiding behind flowery, overused and poorly understood writing cliches.

      What are you talking about? How is my calling the post facto assessments of LeBron James’s psychology an example of confirmation bias an example of confirmation bias itself?

    23. Robtachi

      Because that’s your form of confirmation bias. Simply calling someone’s opinions confirmation bias without countering it with a tangible argument makes you just as guilty of a confirmation bias against others like jon abbey (and basically anyone who disagrees with you on here, I’ve noticed), which indicates to me that not only would you rather play the contrarian whenever you can, but also that you poorly recognize the real meaning of confirmation bias, which is now a totally overused anti-journalistic cliche deployed by psuedo-intellectual trolls as an argumentative crutch. I’d much rather see you actually, you know, trying to promote fact-supported basketball discussion, instead of cherry-picking people’s opinions for a verbal conquest.

      The Honorable Cock Jowles: What are you talking about? How is my calling the post facto assessments of LeBron James’s psychology an example of confirmation bias an example of confirmation bias itself?

    24. thenamestsam

      joengai: smh actually means “shaking my head”…close enough

      I’m not much good at the internet, but I thought both were accepted usages. Internet searching reveals you are more right than I. I except my internet demerit. Perhaps he was shaking his head at so much hate?

    25. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      Robtachi:
      Because……

      Okay, here it goes:

      Choosing certain games out of a player’s body of work and attempting to extract meaning from them is a fruitless endeavor. It reeks of bias. Claiming that LeBron shrinks from the “bright lights” of pressure situations is a claim that can only be made by cherry picking, as has been shown in this thread (Kevin’s link to BR.com). Waiting until after a “big” blown game by LeBron to mount arguments about his psychology is a form of confirmation bias. It shows, or pointing to particular quarters in which he “disappears” is almost certainly a form of selection bias based on predetermined assumptions about his character, fortitude, etc.

      Since I don’t have my psychology texts in front of me, let’s use Wikipedia.

      Belief perseverance: LeBron is still a choker despite overwhelming evidence (including last night) that he is fully capable if not likely to perform at a superstar level under high-pressure situations.

      Irrational primacy effect: LeBron is a choker because he “disappeared” in the Indiana series, and had a poor game 5. Game 6 does not mean as much.

      Illusory correlation: LeBron performing poorly in a playoff game implies a lack or deficiency in fortitude. Playoff pressure correlates with poor performance in a particular professional athlete, this one happening to be the best basketball player since Tim Duncan or Michael Jordan’s prime.

      That’s my argument. I’m also aware that I’m capable of confirmation bias, but I don’t argue that LeBron is in fact immune to pressure. I (because I believe in the theory of “flow”) believe that LeBron is most likely able to cope with high-intensity athletic stress better than most (that’s how he got to the NBA) but I simply argue that there is no evidence to suggest the “LeBron’s a choker” hypothesis. The numbers say otherwise, and I…

    26. 2FOR18

      I hated LeBron for a long time after the Decision, but what he did last night is why I watch sports. To just take over every facet of a game and destroy the will of the other team. Do you realize he played center last night on defense, and PG and SF on offense? Also, there was no joking around, no smiling, no flopping, no whining – it was a masterpiece.

    27. PC

      The Honorable Cock Jowles: Don’t be mad that you can’t admit that you explain phenomena post facto to suit your intuition without being able to counter substantial analysis or data beyond claims that your opinion’s veracity is self-evident. Cry, cry, cry.

      Where’s your data? The funny thing about the Lebron hate is that he is the only guy that to support or bash, nobody cites any actual data.

    28. ephus

      Here is my attempt to lower the temperature. LBJ put up an amazing performance last night, in a high pressure situation. On many prior occasions, he has performed at the highest level under extreme pressure.

      Like all players, LBJ has not always performed at the highest level in the most important games. Prominent examples include Game 6 of the 2011 Finals and Games 4-6 of the 2010 loss to Boston.

      The difference between LBJ’s failures and those of other top stars is that LBJ seldom fails by going 4/18 (like Paul Pierce last night) but rather fails by not getting the ball and taking the shots. Fans and the press have reacted to LBJ’s particular form of big game failure by concluding that he is “not clutch”. I think a better conclusion is that Lebron’s failures have largely come when he has played passively despite the high stakes.

      Does anyone recall a high-stakes game where Lebron James performed actively and badly? I cannot.

    29. Brian Cronin

      It was pretty staggering to see the response to the game on the after show. Dude puts up one of the all-time great playoff games and the response (especially from Jon Barry) was a mix between “He should play like that every game” (so he should have one of the greatest playoff performances every game? Makes sense) and/or “Yeah, well, let’s see you do it again.” Fuck the heck?

    30. TelegraphedPass

      ephus: Does anyone recall a high-stakes game where Lebron James performed actively and badly? I cannot.

      Difficult. Performing actively is subjective, especially considering LeBron’s rapidly morphing role. LeBron is, at his best, a facilitator. He is capable of filling a lot of different roles, but he’s always been the guy who runs his teams offense. He knows the plays, he knows how to get his teammates open, and he knows when to score. Usually.

      By contrast, Kobe and Durant are scorers. They are capable of setting their teammates up, but not to the extent LeBron is. Their mentality in endgame situations is almost universally to put themselves in a situation to put the ball in the hoop. LeBron reverts to his training and philosophy, and tries to make the best plays possible to help his team’s offense.

      I think he sometimes becomes unwilling to demand the ball in crunchtime not because he fears it, but because he genuinely doesn’t think that’s the most effective way to play basketball. His rebounding and positioning, to him, may be an active way to help his team win.

    31. Nick C.

      What’s shocking is that he has been able to do this after being rendered a near quadraplegic by Tyson Chandler’s screen.

      Speaking of whiplash if the shots that fell last night don’t and they lost the contortions, backpedaling and new theory of the world that pops up after every game should be comically interesting.

    32. joengai

      thenamestsam: I’m not much good at the internet, but I thought both were accepted usages. Internet searching reveals you are more right than I. I except my internet demerit. Perhaps he was shaking his head at so much hate?

      haha, in this case both definitely work.

      anyone else kinda feel bad for lebron? I know he makes millions of bucks to ball, but the dude constantly gets crucified for a stupid decision he made when he was 26. Plenty of people make stupid decisions at 26. I’m almost rooting for him to win a chip just cus it’d be such a damn waste of talent and such a shame if he retired ringless.

    33. BigBlueAL

      The problem is LeBron brought all this pressure on himself because of the decision and saying not 1, not 2, not 3 etc.

      So playing an amazing game in Game 6 of the Conference Finals is great but there is still a Game 7 and then the NBA Finals if they win that game. Last night’s game honestly does nothing to change his legacy or whatever. Winning a championship is the only thing that will do that for him right now.

      BTW last night was an amazing performance to say the least but it is too bad that in reality it really does change nothing for LeBron unless he wins 5 more games this month.

    34. Brian Cronin

      Legacy, sure, Al. But when the post-game show can’t even give the guy props for the game that he just finished playing? It’s just bizarre.

    35. TelegraphedPass

      How do we feel about his postgame comments? I think they were enlightening and weren’t covered nearly as much as they should have been.

      LBJ basically said he has no regrets no matter what happens in Game 7. Win or lose, he’ll know that he went out and played his hardest and that’s what really matters.

      I’m surprised he hasn’t caught more flak for that statement. I was ready for people to use it as an example of why he lacks the heart of a true champion, and why he doesn’t deserve to win. He doesn’t play to dominate: He plays for the love of the game. Is that really a bad thing?

      LeBron is a sympathetic figure to me. I can’t imagine dealing with the constant needling and pressure, and steadfastedly refusing to alter your philosophy and continue to work to make your teammates better instead of trying to silence your critics. It’s absolutely fascinating.

    36. BigBlueAL

      Brian Cronin:
      Legacy, sure, Al. But when the post-game show can’t even give the guy props for the game that he just finished playing? It’s just bizarre.

      Magic gave him props. Who cares what Jon Barry says lol

    37. JC Knickfan

      LBJ was my lunchtime topic today. First I disagree that he disappears from game, but he does continue look for open man no matter what situation is. He could be having incredible shooting night, but still pass to Udonis Haslem on PNR for open 15 footer for game winner or to tie. Maybe he research advantage statistics and to him that’s the correct play. But everyone analysts, writers and fans are saying shoot the damn ball.

      He got “I need get teammate involved or I need Wade to have his turn attitude “, but in crunch time (say last 8 minutes) everyone including myself expect him play hero ball.

    38. Frank

      ephus: I think a better conclusion is that Lebron’s failures have largely come when he has played passively despite the high stakes.

      I think that is totally true. We are sophisticated enough watchers of basketball to know the difference between a low-usage game in which you set your guys up for many easy shots down the stretch (ie. the classic Rondo or Nash game) and what Lebron has been found to be doing AT TIMES in big games — which is to watch Wade dribble around in circles while standing passively in the corner or on the wing. We’ve seen over and over again that he DOES know how to move without the ball, but sometimes he’s reduced to a watcher.

      In general and for better or worse, fans are quick to forgive errors of commission (ie. he went for it but failed) and less likely to forgive errors of omission (he didn’t show up when it counted). No one worth listening to really blames Lebron for passing off to Haslem or Donyell Marshall to take the big shot when he’s triple-teamed — but I think it’s totally fair to criticize him for being passive and turning into a watcher EXACTLY when he – as the best basketball player the world has seen since at least MJ – needs to exert his will on the game. Whether it’s by scoring, facilitating, cutting without the ball, playing great defense, he HAS to exert his will on the game. It’s an effort thing, a mindset thing – and in my mind, it is totally fair to cherry-pick effort and mindset, because you can control that at all times.

      As the MVP x 3, as a guy who has (since high school!) called himself King James without ever having won something, who by all accounts wants to be a basketball and world icon and sports’ first billionaire– that is what he has brought on himself.

    39. Frank

      What I do feel a little bad about for Lebron is that I think he is physically exhausted, or at least will be in the Finals if they make it that far, and that it will be fatigue, and not lack of heart/motivation/killer instinct, that may cause him to miss winning a title again. What Miami asks him to do is no less than what Cleveland asked him to do, which is to be everything all the time. There are no excuses for anyone at this stage of the game, but no one else is asked to do as much and for as long as LBJ is. My guess is that this is not what he thought he was buying into when he got together with Wade and Bosh.

    40. thenamestsam

      Frank:
      What I do feel a little bad about for Lebron is that I think he is physically exhausted, or at least will be in the Finals if they make it that far, and that it will be fatigue, and not lack of heart/motivation/killer instinct, that may cause him to miss winning a title again.What Miami asks him to do is no less than what Cleveland asked him to do, which is to be everything all the time.There are no excuses for anyone at this stage of the game, but no one else is asked to do as much and for as long as LBJ is. My guess is that this is not what he thought he was buying into when he got together with Wade and Bosh.

      Very true, and this is why the Bosh injury was an absolute killer even if they do end up managing to survive the two rounds mostly without him. Against the Knicks, Spoelstra was doing a nice job of limiting his minutes, and I think he would have kept up that effort against Indy and Boston after having seen the shell that Lebron was in the finals last year. The Bosh injury through that entire plan out the window, eliminating their margin for error and their scoring depth. The effect in terms of added minutes, both per game and in terms of extra games, has been pretty huge. Even if they make it, it’ll be interesting to see if Lebron has anything left. He looked exhausted by the end of the game yesterday. That said I do think he seems to be even fitter this year than he was last year, and it was a shorter (if more hectic) season. With Bosh back now (even if not fully healthy) Spoelstra should really try to find a way to steal him a few minutes rest every game. I’m not counting on it though.

    41. ephus

      Frank: What I do feel a little bad about for Lebron is that I think he is physically exhausted, or at least will be in the Finals if they make it that far, and that it will be fatigue, and not lack of heart/motivation/killer instinct, that may cause him to miss winning a title again.

      As Vince Lombardi said, “Fatigue makes cowards of us all.” I don’t think that LBJ takes plays off because he is afraid to take the responsiblity for winning or losing, but rather he just gets to a place where he takes a few plays off on the wing. Because of his amazing physique, it is easy to forget that even the most perfectly conditioned athletes get tired.

      Having said all of that, I stand by my proclamation on the day of The Decision that my two favorite teams were the Knicks and whoever was playing the Heat. It has been strange rooting for the Celtics, but I really don’t want the Heat to win. It’s not rational, but it’s real.

    42. Caleb

      ephus: my two favorite teams were the Knicks and whoever was playing the Heat.It has been strange rooting for the Celtics, but I really don’t want the Heat to win.It’s not rational, but it’s real.

      I feel exactly the same way. Celtics up 11 and I’m loving it.

    43. Caleb

      Heat up 9 with 3:23 to play. Oh well.

      But they are going to have to step it up a few notches if they want to beat OKC. If they play the way they have against Boston, they’re going to get slaughtered. There should be a lot of offense in that series..

    44. d-mar

      Rondo and Garnett showing true lack of class, walking into the locker room instead of congratulating Heat like Pierce and Allen did.

      Fuck the Celtics, have fun retooling.

    45. jon abbey

      Chris Bosh coming up big, three 3s were the most he’d ever had in a game in his career, 4-20 from 3 previously this postseason.

      whew, now I can root against LeBron like the rest of America. how funny would it end up being if the Heat end up the Bills of the NBA, “not one, not two, not three”, but many many Finals losses? :)

    46. jon abbey

      also this Finals will be a rare chance for LeBron haters and Kobe haters to be potentially rewarded simultaneously, since if OKC wins, Fisher has six rings to Kobe’s five. if you think that wouldn’t eat at him for the rest of his life, I don’t think you know Kobe.

    47. massive

      LeBron gets his first ring this year for sure. It’s gonna be a series played in transition, and LeBron is not somebody you want to see coming at you with a full head of steam. Plus, Russell Westbrook likes to hijack the offense, which gets his team behind as he halts the offense. I really like Miami in this series.

    48. jon abbey

      I think OKC is much better rested plus they have home court where they’re 8-0 so far this postseason. OKC in six (it would be five if it wasn’t 2-3-2).

    49. Brian Cronin

      Yeah, Miami can certainly win this but they can’t be the favorites. As we can see, though, the Heat with a vaguely healthy Bosh are a whole lot better than a Bosh-less Heat, so it’ll be interesting.

    50. BigBlueAL

      Knicks are the only team so far this postseason to beat the Heat with their Big 3 all healthy!! :-)

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