Back in 2010-11, LeBron James (as a member of the Miami Heat) famously put the clamps Derrick Rose in the Eastern Conference Finals, and he says that he’s up to the task once again if necessary.
The Cleveland Cavaliers will throw a combination of Iman Shumpert, Kyrie Irving and Matthew Dellavedova at the former MVP during their second-round Playoff series, but LeBron remains available in case of emergency.
James is confident, in fact, that he can guard any member of the Chicago Bulls.
Per the NEOMG:
“I think it’s a different time. It’s a different situation. If need be, will I need to guard Rose at times? I can do it,” James said. “I can guard anybody on their team, one through 15 if need be. But the time, the score, the game, the situation will dictate itself.”
With the roster makeup composition of the Cavaliers, it’s possible James doesn’t see extended minutes on Rose. They’ll need the majority of his energy for offensive purposes with Kevin Love and J.R. Smith out of commission.
“In that particular series the opportunity was there for me to guard him,” James said. “That was an MVP season obviously, and in order for us to win, we had to try to do a number on him. I think now, today his supporting cast is a little bit better. […] He added a champion, he added an All-Star in Pau [Gasol], and Jimmy [Butler] has emerged in being an All-Star, and the rest of those guys have continued to get better. He gets a little break as well with Aaron Brooks coming off the bench.”