How Lebron did what he wanted in game one (with video proof)
What Lebron James did on Monday night against Boston was a long time coming. Early in his years, Lebron ended up on the short end against Paul Pierce and the Boston Celtics. Pierce was Lebron’s kryptonite during those Cleveland years, mainly why he bolted to Miami to join forces with other stars. Except what we are finding out is that maybe Lebron could have done it himself, if he plays the way he has last year and so far this series against the Celtics.
Paul Pierce sizes up well with Lebron, well use to. Lebron is up to 260 and that might be a little on the short side. Paul has used his veteran knowledge and IQ against Lebron. Usually making him do things he doesn’t want to do whether by muscling him or by squaring him off to a particular side. I don’t feel the need to run through the physical problems with Pierce and how he has aged and slowing down. Instead, let’s look at all the ways that Lebron is beating Paul Pierce all over the court.
This was the very first play of the game and already Paul Pierce is struggling to stay with Lebron James. You try not to read too much into the first play, but this is a clear example of what Paul Pierce went through all game. Lebron cuts through the middle to the corner then curls towards the top of the key for the entry pass, as this point, he already has a clear path to the basket after his cross over dribble as Pierce is spinning in circles.
In the above clip, he darts towards the basket and Paul stood no chance in disrupting the alley-oop. Pierce use to be physical with Lebron but he is unable due to the many reasons we spoke of. To Pierce’s defense, most players would be ineffective stopping this. These type of plays speak more to the defensive player falling asleep or getting caught paying attention to something else. That split second determines if these plays work or not.
This is where you miss the Pierce and Lebron battles in the Cleveland days because this interaction would have been more physical. Pierce willingly gets backed down just enough for Lebron to make his comfortable turnaround jumper. Pierce was giving him the left side, refusing to let him go right. Lebron saw this and worked to get the shot he wanted.
Not only has Lebron been successful in beating Paul Pierce, but he has taken on Kevin Garnett with ease in game one as well. Below is a clip where Kevin ends up on a switch with Brandon Bass and calls his shot to guard Lebron. Not sure what mad man would willing do this but let’s take a look.
Garnett gives up a couple of feet to Lebron, which is plenty of room for a faster, quicker player to dribble around him. If Kevin decided to step up, he would have exposed the paint, which Lebron would have still went around with ease. Garnett never stood a chance and only because of his expertise on the defensive end, was he able to cut down the last angle Lebron took did he prevent a dunk. However, Lebron will settle for 6-foot jump shots all day.
Kevin defended Lebron again in another play, however this time Lebron pulled up, which is what you want him doing anyway. Nothing wrong with Kevin’s defense here because as we previously saw, if he came out too far, Lebron would have been blown by.
I mean why stop attacking the basket if you can do this all games?
Lebron use to stand and watch plays, a big reason for his critics to point to his ring-less hand. That seems to be changing these days. Below is a clip of Lebron standing near half court watching the play develop, being fast allows you to exaggerate your spacing assignments. Anyways, near the end of the play, as the offense has stopped, no one kept tabs on Lebron who cut extremely well to the basket for an easy two.
Watching James not get involved in the dirty work was always frustrating. In our next clip, we will show you why this man averages high numbers in rebounding and points. It has not been an easy transition for Lebron to play the four but that is where he is the best. We understand he wants to be remembered along with Magic, Bird and Jordan. No one remembers the power forwards or centers, they remember the flashy guards and small forwards. The beauty of Lebron’s game is he contains the best of both worlds.
What makes Lebron special is this following clip. Here we see him get to exactly where he wants and puts up a shot that he has been working on and hits on a regular basis. This new weapon is exactly what I mean by the best of both worlds. His ability to lower his shoulder to beat you to a spot is highlighted perfectly in this. He beats Garnett to the spot allowing enough time for this bunny hook.
Lebron is deserving of the MVP award he scooped up. I just don't think the Celtics have the personal to contain him. Is this a bad time to bring up Jeff Green or Chris Wilcox?