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Monday, April 2nd, 2012 at 12:10 pm  |  109 responses

Should LeBron James Play Point Guard for the Miami Heat?


Many consider LeBron James to be the modern-day Magic Johnson – just ask Doc Rivers – and CBS Sports makes the case that the Miami Heat are misusing James and teammate Dwyane Wade in their offensive attack: “James and Wade don’t need a point guard on the floor with them. They certainly didn’t need one Sunday, when Chalmers (1-for-5, two points) and Cole (2-for-11, seven points) were utterly dominated by Rajon Rondo (16 points, 14 assists). James, one of the top two or three pure passers I have seen come into the NBA since I have been watching it, had zero assists in 35 minutes. ‘We didn’t make any shots,’ Spoelstra said, noting that Miami shot 35 percent from the field. ‘How do you get an assist on a missed field goal?’ Fair enough. But the Heat’s problem — on Sunday and come playoff time — goes a lot deeper than that. Spoelstra is a good, smart coach, and I give him credit for tweaking the Heat’s early offense this season by incorporating a three-man pick-and-roll game on either side of the floor on semi-transition possessions when no set play has been called. Only two other teams in the league have run such an action this season: the Knicks, when they were coached by Mike D’Antoni, and the Suns, who still run his offense. But like his mentor, Pat Riley, Spoelstra is wedded to tradition. He relies on conventional lineups, and that means he plays almost always with a point guard on the floor. If your point guard is Chris Paul, Deron Williams or Steve Nash, that’s good. Not so much with Chalmers and Cole. Furthermore, if James — whose Magic Johnson-like playmaking gifts are now relegated to a once-a year exhibition in the All-Star Game — played point guard in the games that count, he’d be better than all of the above. Or at least as good, Celtics coach Doc Rivers said in slightly correcting me. ‘Well, I don’t know if he’d be the best, but he is a point guard as far as I’m concerned,’ Rivers said outside the Celtics’ locker room Sunday. ‘He’s Magic Johnson. That’s who he is.’ Simply put, Spoelstra needs to forget about convention, put the ball in James’ hands, and watch every playoff opponent try and fail to stop him. The answer is: You can’t. ‘We trapped Wade tonight and we trapped [Chris] Bosh tonight,’ Rivers said. ‘But when LeBron had it, if he scored, he scored. But you can’t score and get everybody involved. That’s why he’s the only guy maybe in the league that we have a no-trap rule. You don’t trap him because he wants to pass.’”

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  • Avery

    i think he should because he got good court vision, just like a point gaurd

  • http://www.slamonline.com Slick Ric

    lebron is a good play-maker but his skills are overrated when people keep comparing him to magic johnson, he’s playing the correct position at sf.

  • http://nba.com GP23

    LeBron James is not Magic Johnson at all. I just don’t see it. He is still a scorer first, and then a passer second.

  • AQWORD

    Im only here coz i thought Brain Crawford wrote the article.

  • http://sdjfklfl.com Jukai

    Actually, a big problem is the idea that Spoelstra is a “good, smart coach, and I give him credit for tweaking the Heat’s early offense this season by incorporating a three-man pick-and-roll game on either side of the floor on semi-transition possessions when no set play has been called”
    A good, smart coach will have half-court offensive play calls, and an adjustable defensive scheme…. a ‘good smart coach’ will not spend a year without any offense placed in the team, and then finally make one which focuses entirely on transition offense which is entirely dependent on their switching defense which can be creamed by three point shots. Sorry, Spoelstra will always be subpar at the very best.
    As for the Lebron thing, he won’t do it. If he could, he would have done it already. As for why, I don’t know, your guess is as good as mine, bring in the whole “he’s afraid of choking” theories if you want.

  • http://slamonline.com datkid

    don’t the heat have specific crunch time lineups where lebron plays point guard? I’m 99% sure they do, and it’s what they used to pull away late in games at the beginning of the year.

  • http://www,nba.com VanCityBBall

    cause this stategy worked sooooo well the last time they tried this…

  • http://redoftoothandclaw.ca/ niQ

    Well, let him play point guard and see how it turns out. Let Battier start for SF like how the Spurs did with Bruce Bowen, and how the Thunder with Sefolosha at SG.
    I mean, he would be a point guard match-up nightmare for virtually every team…

  • Fat Lever

    Maybe if he had a more refined post game where he could really take advantage of matchups(if the opposing team actually put their PG on him).

  • RunNGun

    LeChoke should play center.

  • bike

    Asking questions that can only be answered by an omnipotent being are somewhat irrelevant.

  • abaci

    nope

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    I’m not so sure about this strategy. Matter of fact, I’m certain this will not work. MIA is at their best when LeBron is looking for his shot first and creating second. They tried this strategy during the Finals and look at where that got them. MIA was killing it during the 2nd/3rd rounds of last season playoffs and the first half of this season when LeBron was scoring at a high clip (2nd in the L) and they have been struggling ever since his scoring numbers went down.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Duh he should be playing PG. That has been one of the obvious solutions since “decision day”. For everything people don’t like about it, it still creates crazy mismatches, especially defensively with Wade, James, Battier (and even M-Miller) considering Spoelstra already tries to switch on every single action on the court it seems like the only way to prevent the team from being torn apart by good shooting teams as well.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Taylor did you not watch the finals? The most a PG wasn’t on the court in one finals game was 6 minutes, total. That’s the very most the Heat played with LeBron at PG in a finals game AND they won that game.

  • bike

    He should if the situation calls for it. That’s what you do with a guy who can play all positions on the floor.

  • T-Money

    in the nba, your position is based on who you defend. i don’t want lebron playing the 1 because it would be too taxing to follow small guards for 40 minutes but i want him to initiate the offense all the time. let’s face it, was mo williams really the point guard on offense for cleveland or was he just a spot up shooter that would defend point guards?

  • http://wikipedia.org Kabnis

    Only in the fourth quarter

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    I can’t believe that I just typed out a long response and that sh*t didn’t show up. Damn you…..Slam
    nbk, I did but his role during that series was a facilitating one. It seems like he took a backseat and relinquished the scoring role he had vs the Celts and Bulls and decided to become more of a playmaker.
    I just feel that MIA is at their very best when LeBron is around 27-28ppg with 6+ apg.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Oh I totally agree that he relinquished his role as scorer, but it wasn’t because he was actually playing PG is what I was saying. If he would have been playing PG at least Miami would have been able to take advantage of mismatches rather then having an undersized spot up shooter out there to just fill the title of PG while he’s on the court, rather then actually contributing anything tangible.

  • shutup

    Mismatches work both ways, as good as Lebron is I think his ability to guard 1-5 is over rated. Classic example- when teams used to play against Kenny’s Kings they used to post booger (because he was a small guard) up all the time but on the other end no one could stay in front of him. Do you think that Lebron is really going to stop Rose or even Rondo for that matter? and he could defend Pau that game because Mike Browns offense had no picks to free up the post ups. Lebron isnt even the best on-ball defender on the Heat, I give that award to Battier. Whens the last time Lebron defended one of the elite 4′s? because if that was the case he should have been guarding Dirk and not Haslem or Bosh.

  • AQWORD

    word to jtaylor ^^

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    uhm he stopped Rose in the playoffs last year. So uhh, yeah…

  • http://redoftoothandclaw.ca/ niQ

    Yeaaa.. Lebron shut down Rose during the playoffs..

  • surety

    “One of two or three best passers”. LOL. Lebron is the best finisher in the league and certainly not the best passer.

  • riggs

    Didnt Rondo prove why this wouldnt work out for them? (albeit to say, not every guard in the league can defend like Rajon can)

  • Rainman

    The Suns do NOT Run Mike D’aintoni’s offence…at all…and actually havent since Gentry took over. ITs completely different. Just Sayin..

  • Rainman

    Btw did the article say that LeBron would be better at running point guard than Paul, Deron, and Nash? Uh…what am i missing here? This article thats been quoted is pure blasphemy. Look, Bron is a Nice playmaker, but his bread and butter is finishing plays. He’s no Chris Paul, he’s definitely no Steve Nash.

  • bdogg

    bron should be the point forward for this team aka pippen. the bulls still had bj/pax/kerr on the floor as the spot up shooter.. dwade plays a little more wing than mj but you get the idea. .he is your finisher.,.bron can run the offense..than it would not be wade/bron taking turns and everyone gets involved. chalmers can score if given the opportunity.

  • RedRum

    Lebron is not Magic… he has court vision but not the same passing sense as Magic. I think instead of PG he should move to PF and develop his post-skills.. what happened to that? Maybe he got bumped hard a couple of times in the post and decided not to bother and go back pretending he is magic?

  • Fresh Boirdee

    First it’s Jordan, now it’s Magic…SMH. He’s not even Penny

  • bravo

    I agree ^

  • AD

    He can’t handle the Heat. So stay out of the kitchen.

  • http://www.twitter.com/_dfrance dfrance21

    What is it with everyone insisting Lebron develop a post game? He’s at his best drving the lane and running out on the break. He bullies smaller defenders when necessary and he has some nice turn around moves on the block, but he’s never gonna be Hakeem, nor do i think he should be. As for the PG thing, I think he should play it in spots, maybe when Wade or Bosh is really rolling offensively. It just goes back to Jukai’s point that Spo is a mediocre coach. He doesn’t know how to make adjustments on the fly.

  • AD

    Plus… the Magic man had an awsome back to the basket game. LBJ can only dream.

  • bravo

    Lbj shud just stick to dominating the paint. Quit shotting if u want a chip

  • RedRum

    @Dfrance21 well… as last year’s finals showed once you clog the middle with a simple zone defense Lebrons driving to the lane vanishes. Same thing with the Bulls. He only had great games because he got hot and started hitting impossible long-range shots. Obviously his game is missing a dimension. This can either be a mid-range if he wants to stay on the wing or a post game. He also refuses to run pick n rolls with Wade, because he wants to be the ball handler. And largely it is Spo’s fault for not imposing it. I think the best option for the Heat was Lebron to develop a post-game and just run PNRs with Wade. He does not always need to set a pick, he can post up for a feed or come the elbow for a drop pass to Wade cutting. They have never run such stuff which is such a shame, they could be so efficient in the halfcourt if lebron set his ego aside and just played the position he can best play, he is a power forward.

  • shutup

    He didnt stop Rose. Rose was doing whatever he wanted. The Bulls lost but I put that on the fact that Rose was the only true threat offensively. Rose had 20+ points in every game and except one where Boozer had like 26. His avg for that series was 23.4 his career avg is 21.1 ;so no Lebron didnt stop him.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    You didn’t watch then. LeBron guarded him just during 4th quarters and normally just for the last stretch. And he absolutely locked him up. His defense on Rose was the catalyst to them winning every 4th quarter in that series after game 1.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    After going 0-for-5 from the floor with a turnover when guarded by LeBron James in Game 4, Derrick Rose struggled against him once again Thursday, going 1-for-10 with two turnovers in Game 5. Rose shot 6.3 percent from the floor in the series when defended by James, lowest among any player that defended him on five or more plays.

  • robb

    Let’s not compare LBJ to anybody, he’s a unique player, let him find his own game.

  • RedRum

    The defense that Lebron played on Rose was more of a result of the Bulls stagnant offense. I like Tibs, but his offense is one of the most uninspired in the league. Basically, clear the heck out and let Rose do his thing. Under such an offense, LEbron’s superior athleticism can handle Rose. but put Rose in an an offense with puts him in his spots giving him the right momentum and Rose can outplay Lebron with his quickness.

  • Mike from Spain

    Much as I hate to admit it, I think that Bulls series was a defensive clinic by Bron… he really stopped Rose, at the time I did not think he’d be able to pull it off.

    It might be that the important point is not that Lebron is not clutch, that he’s got a massive ego, bad teammates, or any of the other stuff… maybe (just maybe) he’s not played under a coach who could make the best use of his talents.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Yeah RedRum, that explains why the Bulls win 2 out of three games without D-Rose. Not bad for having zero offense and no super stars. He’s better than people give him credit for offensively. I mean he’s no PJAX, but he isn’t Mike Brown either.

  • toinefan88

    i like da look 4 a video game look. but in reality that’s a lotta work 4 a large man. i still say he needs to watch some mailman tapes and learn to deliver from the block. even magic could post.

  • LA Huey

    On a nightly basis, I’d be OK with LeBron checking typical PGs but I wouldn’t not want him having to guard a top 10 PG all game long.

  • RedRum

    @Lakeshow mate, there is a big difference between regular season and playoffs. In regular season you can get away by creating offense off execution. Yes, at this moment the Bulls have a very simple offensive scheme which they execute really well, on top of their great defense. The Heat is not on par with the Bulls on half-court execution. But they execute well because of the limited sets they run. Come to playoffs, scouting will devour them and Thibs does not have the offensive creativity (and talent to be fair) to overcome this. Then he result to clearing the court and let Rose run things. But this is easy for Lebron to defend. My prediction is that (as much as I hate it) the Heat will beat the Bulls if they meet, though I do have my doubts that the Heat will reach the ECF, I think there might be an upset somewhere. I think Thibs is worse offensively than Brown. Mind you, although not a Laker fan I am a great admirer of Jax and run the triangle with my team. I see the Heat and their talent and I just cannot stop thinking how well they could run the triangle… probably they have the talent to run it the best way it was ever run

  • Heals

    If you can’t admit that Lebron locked down Rose when he guarded him last year, you shouldn’t be apart of this convo.

  • Dingo Rob

    Seriously the hate for Lebron really jumps out every time his name is mentioned, someone even said he needs to improve his post game before playing point?! Kobe was right…..
    Anyway why this hasn’t happen already is beyond me, he would be averaging a triple double this year and more than likely still averaging over 50% from the field.

    The 4th qt jokes are lame

  • ZON

    I don’t understand why you guys are debating whether lebron should be switched to pg, power-foward, and center or whatever cause guys, STOP ALREADY. As long as Erik noadjustment Spoelstra is the head coach of this team, no adjustments or changes will be made. It doesn’t matter what kind of offense or defense they run because Spoelstra will get outcoached no doubt in the finals if not against tibs or doc. This team will never win a championship as long as this mediocre coach is coaching this team. As a coach, hes at best be compared to a player like joel anthony, hard-working, blue-collar, but extremely untalented and predictable. In order to win, an experienced, smart, and well respected coach is a must and its been proven. Unfortunately, spoelstra is none of the above and he’s just wasting the primetime of the big 3 with his incompetency. Again, Riles the one to blame for not admitting his faults.

  • PrickJames

    I’ve been watching some ’80s All-Star games and I’ve figured out which player most closely relates to Magic… That’s Kurt Warner.

    Watching Magic in his hayday reminded me that not only has there not been ONE player like him; but on the break, the Lakers resembled the old St. Louis Rams teams that Warner won the Super Bowl with than any point/player in the game before or since…

    Hear me out now : Magic catching the rebound, prancing up the middle and hitting a wing for the dunk looked more like Kurt on a three-step drop to a receiver than anything [or anyone] else. Nash is close, but Magic was a big QB picking apart backpeddling backcourt men like confused DBs wondering where he’s gonna go. With a little bit of Randal Cunningham ['member him kids?] as he sometimes called his own number.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is… NOBODY IS MAGIC F%CKING JOHNSON!!!!! (at least not yet & mos def not ‘bron)

  • LA Huey

    Heals, it’s funny, man. Because the LeBron had to check him in isolation, so it’s not like a team effort from the Heat is what shut down Rose. It was a pretty amazing thing to see.

  • shutup

    If Lebron was so effective defending him than how come he got his season avg every game, I watched the game and spot defense here and there is all well and fine but your trying to take a small portion of a stat to justify the whole, take a step back and look at the numbers. I watched every game and I saw spurts when Lebron played D on him well but to say that justifies having Lebron play the point is just like saying that Lebron was guarding an undersized C who really is a pf in an offense that doesn’t really look for him but now Lebron should be the Heat’s starting 5. The team defense of the Bulls is what stood out to me in that series, their rotations and active hands is what caught my eye. And lets not pretend that Rose never went for stretches shooting 0-5 before. I get where your coming from with the higher level stats, but we will never see Lebron guarding the other pg for more than a few minutes a game.

  • http://www.basketball-reference.com/about/ws.html nbk

    Mike Bibby & Mario Chalmers guarded him, that’s how he got his season average. Whether you are right or wrong about LeBron ever guarding an opposing PG for more than a few minutes a game isn’t what I’m talking about because I agree with you that it wont happen. But it should.

  • shutup

    All i’m trying to say are averages are just that, whether he scored them against whoever the Heat put in front of him. If he would have scored more than he would be exceeding his avg by the minimum +3 which he already was doing despite being “locked” down by Lebron. Lebron didnt stop him by himself, they would double and focus the D on Rose to make the rest of the team beat them. Rose’s shooting % was down the entire series. The only major plus that I can see is that the refs wouldn’t want to blow the whistle against Lebron, superstar calls go both ways. I know Rose’s freethrow attempts were down when guarded by Lebron.

  • http://www.basketball-reference.com/about/ws.html nbk

    So you don’t understand the concept of being locked up for the last 10 minutes of a game? Are you really trying to say him gettin his average but doing nothing at the end of the game is ok because hey “it’s what he averaged” – if your boss asks you to work overtime or get one more order done or teach an extra class or whatever you would just go stand wherever your supposed to be and not actually do anything because “I did the work I do on average so I didn’t actually have to be productive?”. Gtfoh.

  • shutup

    No what I’m saying that if Rose was scoring his avg each game and exceeding it by 3 points what did you expect to happen. Its the law of averages, it’s irrefutable. An average allows for low games and high games, thats what I’m saying. Lebron guarding could be the reason he missed those shots, or it could be the fact that the whole teams shooting % was down especially in the fourth quarter. Your a higher stats guy, go check Rose’s shooting % when his team is down compared to when his team is winning, close games vs blowouts. Lebron didnt guard him for the last ten minutes of any game. Rose usually takes a break in the beginning to middle of the fourth, and even then was guarded by Chalmers to start the 4th. I am not saying that Lebron didnt do a good job guarding him, but to use a small sample size to form of justify an opinion is scientifically inaccurate. You cannot sit here and say that if Lebron guarded Rose for the entire game or the majority of the game that Rose wouldn’t get his avg, if that was the case then Spolestra should have assigned Lebron to Rose the entire game and the series would not have been close.

  • http://www.basketball-reference.com/about/ws.html nbk

    It’s the law of averages? This isn’t a constant. When you play more minutes and get more touches you average will also likely change. Are you kidding me with this logic?

  • http://www.basketball-reference.com/about/ws.html nbk

    You clearly didn’t watch the series. Talk to one of our resident bulls fans, even they will tell you.

  • shutup

    every significant Bulls stat was down in the playoffs except steals and blocks they stayed the same. Regular season/Playoffs fg% .462/.391 -ft% .743/ .736- points 98.6/ 87.2- rebounds 44.2/42.8- assists 22.3/18.2 and lastly 3point % .361/.313. The Bulls scored 11 fewer points but rose exceeded his avg, do you see what I’m getting at?

  • shutup

    What i’m saying is if you introduce a resistor in to a series that has a constant sine wave the avg voltage will decrease, that would be a quantifiable drop off, with no such drop off in Rose’s production how can you argue his performance was negatively affected? The major thing I took away from watching Lebron guard Rose is that the number of bullish calls that he would normally get declined, thus the 1-6 shot numbers that game, we all know a shot doesnt count as an attempt when you are fouled.

  • shutup

    yes the stats you hold so dear to your heart are averages and thus are subject to adhere to the law of averages. the factors per game will differ (shot attempts/min/ ft%) but they all become quantifiable when averaged. That being said Rose exceeded his avg despite being “locked” down, where is the flaw in my logic? You can’t take what happens in a span of 4-5 minutes and say that it would be effective over the course of a full game, if anything the shock value was the catalyst; with the shift in the lineup it would force a more agile (i neither consider Haslem or Anthony to be agile but Haslem and Bosh have more agility than Anthony) big into the pick and roll thus quickening the rotation of the off ball defender, combine that with the lack of offensive output from the rest of the team and then the concept of Lebron actually being able to guard Rose is birthed like the illegitimate child it is.

  • shutup

    oh and btw I watched every game of the playoffs last year, and I was rooting for the Heat to win it all.

  • http://www.basketball-reference.com/about/ws.html nbk

    Lol you are clueless. And you also don’t understand the law of averages. Which I hope you are actually talking about the Law of Large Numbers…… Because the “Law of Averages” is just an expression, it’s not a real law. Sorry :( it’s the belief that in the long run a probability will determine an average outcome or something along those lines. Which is a principle not a law, and it doesn’t pertain to a 7 game series against the heat in the year 2011 while wearing a certain shoe after eating certain meals And so on and so forth. There is no long term test with the various variables that will inevitably tell you of a certain players probability to perform a set number of statistics under those conditions. I’m sorry but no, what your saying is wrong. Relying on someones average to argue information like that is wrong. LeBron locked Rose up as well as any individual has in Derrick Rose’s professional career. Whether you “watched” it and chalk it up to his team is irrelevant. Whether he scored his average 23 points before that happened is also irrelevant. What happened, happened. We don’t know if or how sustainable said defense would be over an extended period because we simply cant replicate it.

  • shutup

    law of averages 
    noun
    1.
    a statistical principle formulated by Jakob Bernoulli to show a more or less predictable ratio between the number of random trials of an event and its occurrences.
    2.
    Informal . the principle that, in the long run, probability as naively conceived will operate and influence any one occurrence.

  • shutup

    The law of gravity is a principle. Don’t get caught up on the word Law, please, no trying to argue semantics. I never said it was a real Law. But yes the fact that Rose exceeded his avg every game, does play as a factor in determining if any defense will work long term. You readily argue about statistics with everyone on here but now you want to use the anomaly to justify long term replication. It’s foolish, and thats exactly the reason that people end up with tumors or anal leakage after minimal test trials of drugs and products. So if we can’t replicate it, then lets base this discussion on if it would be productive for Lebron to play defense on any pg for long stretches in a game. Logic dictates; no, because at sf his versatility is what helps him the most, either he is to big for small sf or to small and quick for big sf, and he has never shown the handles to warrant him penetrating against the halfcourt set regularly, in fact when defenses hone in on him he continually gets denied to access to the rim. Thats why his performance against Detroit was so special. One more point about him guarding Rose, if his team is being ineffective then it gives him all the more help, and gives him the chance to gamble on his defense on Rose. This is the same NBK that argues that Rose’s fg% has been negatively affected by lack of other offensive options on his team right? because he has to force up bad shots at the end of the shot clock. Same principle.

  • http://www.basketball-reference.com/about/ws.html nbk

    Uhm, thanks? The Law of Averages is Laymans term for the principle described in that definition. It’s not a real law. And it also doesn’t apply here.

  • shutup

    All the hate that Lebron gets about 4th quarter production, but Rose has a few late 4th quarter collapses himself and not just against Lebron.

  • MUBWAR

    nbk stop arguing with bulls fans. every time i think about the bulls and what the heat did to them in 4 str8 ECF games that nba big commercial comes to mind
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Tww6YgiIZ8
    ahh that was a great series

  • http://www.basketball-reference.com/about/ws.html nbk

    You dont understand the key to the principle? Over a long period. Plus the countless variables that differ from one game to the next. You don’t know how to use statistics or understand statistics in context. Yes I use stats, when they are appropriate. Full game averages when talking about a small sample against a single defender are irrelevant unless you are using a comparison. Not using one “average” to decide the outcome of a completely unrelated test. If the defense were always LeBron then his average would be different. There is no constant for your law of averages to be a relevant theory. He always plays against different players. You would have to figure out the average defender, in the average defense under the average condition to make your argument about the law of averages. Not a series against the Heat.

  • http://www.basketball-reference.com/about/ws.html nbk

    And e difference between a principle and a law as i understand is that a principle is tested on earth and applies only to earth. I’m not caught up, was just letting you know since you said its “irrefutable” which like your theory, isn’t fact.

  • Ldub

    The comparison comes from the size and vision. The style is what seperates the two. Magic was just that…Magic. LBJ is definitely not a PG, he is best suited as a SF…but because of his “talents”…he could very easily be the Magic of the Heat. This just means that he could get everyone else going. Imagine the problems it could create for defenses. Dwade would be the smallest player on the court at 6’4 230??? It would create matchup nightmares. Not to mention their defense would be crazy as well (not taking away from Chalmers or Cole), But the speed and strength of LBJ and Dwade at the 1&2 is scary. It puts Dwade in more of a scoring postition (which he needs to be at) and LBJ can get his own buckets when Dwade goes out in the 2nd.
    I do agree that coach Spo needs to give the Heat a offense. Especially in the half court. W/O that, we will just see a repeat of the past 2 years. Playoffs with no rings.

  • deadbored

    i think the argument is: Can LBJ defend good PG’s? answer yes. Can he do it all game? We dont know. END OF STORY!

    @shutup…you need to watch the series again. When you play D on somebody and they dont play very well that means you did a good job. Its very simple. No need for mathematics.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Slick Ric

    lol to lebron shutting Rose down last season, more like Rose shooting the worst he’s ever shot during the entire playoff run because of multiple sprained ankle injuries limiting his game, therefore making it easy on lebron. Lebron is not shutting down any pg and he’s a overrated defender, that’s why kd torched his a22 last time they played and melo gets the best of him when they play some times.

  • http://slamonline.com datkid

    I can’t believe we’re really arguing about whether lebron shut down rose last year…. If you think otherwise you didn’t watch that series. Slick you and shutup gotta go to youtube and just watch that whole 5 min again smh. LMAO @ overrated defender though.

  • deadbored

    “It’s extremely hard,” Rose acknowledged, “when a 6-8 guy can easily defend you.”

    haha you guys must really hate LeBron.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Shut up won.

  • deadbored

    Based on what Durant has done for OKC and the criteria for the MVP, yes he may have a chance. If this is an argument about who is having a better year and you dont think its LBJ, then im sorry but you really dont know basketball.

  • http://www.basketball-reference.com/about/ws.html nbk

    How did shut up win? Lol the argument was that LeBron guarded Rose better then anyone else ever has. And clearly better than anyone on the Heat. His average in similar minutes (mike Bibby at like 14 a game) (Chalmers at 18ish) (LeBron at what 5-8?) are all different numbers. Not coincidentally does he put up big numbers that make up his average early in games on a defense that features Mike freaking Bibby for almost 15 minutes a game. Whether LeBron’s teammates “helped more” with him on Rose is as much a product of the switch as it is an excuse for shutup to support his point. The defense with LeBron on Rose in multiple games where Rose had more success before he was defended by LeBron is better evidence of LeBron’s defensive ability then it is evidence that Rose was just averaging out. And if you really aren’t sold on how effective LeBron was defensively on Rose then just google it.
    - for the record I don’t think LeBron should always guard PG’s if he ran the position, just teams that feature points as their main scorer.
    .
    The offensive argument is a whole nother can of worms that I didn’t address on purpose. There are pros and cons (like as you stated LeBron struggling to penetrate) v (forcing a PG to guard Dwyane Wade or a SF) that have both been apparent in lineups with LeBron at the 1. Whether you think it’s better or worse for the Heat permittently is an opinion I dont want to argue with, it’s a close call.

  • LA Huey

    Revisionist history going on about the 2011 ECF here.

  • http://slamonline.com raylan

    he did played PG last season. resulted to 6 TOs against rondo

  • leland92

    I like this idea. It would be fitting for him seeing his willingness to share the ball and great court vision. It will also free Wade up more often to score from the wing. I think the point made in the 2003 McDonald’s All-American game is something people should realize. LeBron has always been happy to share and is more comparable to Magic than any other player.

  • Wasabi

    Yeah, Magic has his advantages but let’s not forget LeBron’s advantages. He gets the edge on strength and athleticism. I’ve been saying for years he needs to run the point. Not the point forward, the point guard! If you wanna say he’s not Magic, fine. I’m just saying he’ll be a helluva lot better than the current scrubs

  • Justin G.

    I think it’s funny that people are arguing the FACT that Lebron shut down Rose in that series. And yes, he only guarded him in the fourth quarters. I don’t know what Rose was averaging in the first 3 quarters (I didn’t read all the comments and I assume the Stats Sensei nbk will find it) but in the fourth he couldn’t score at the same clip. Maybe it was fatigue from having to do all the scoring throughout the game, maybe it was lingering injuries and maybe it was Lebron’s height and athleticism as Rose himself alluded to. We’ll never know but the FACT remains that it happened. Do I think Lebron could do it for an entire game while keeping up his own contributions on offense? No, but he may not have to either. Maybe it will be good enough to limit Rose while Wade and Bosh do the bulk of the scoring.

  • Rose24

    STOP comparing LBJ to Magic,to Kobe,to KD,to Rose,specially Jordan!!because there not the same..there are different..THEY ARE ALL GREAT PLAYER..I`m not a fan of LBJ..Actually I don`t like him,,coz he made a promise to Cavs that he never leave until he got atleast one ring..but what he do..he leave them..for what..for heat..but `i`m not stupid to hate him..coz who am I to hate any one,,even if I don`t know him personally..I just don`t like him..but he is one of the Greatest player that I`ve ever seen..all I wanna say is LBJ DON`T REMIND YOUR HATERS..SHOW THEM THAT THEY ARE WRONG..I`M A BIGGEST FAN OF KOBE from PHILIPPINES..HE IS MY LONG TIME FAVORITE..I LOVE KOBE SO MUCH..I`M LOYAL FAN TO HIM..COZ I`M ALWAYS HERE TO SUPPORT HIM..NO MATTER WHAT HAPPEN..i know that you are his biggest Rival in NBA..but Kobe didn`t considered you as his Rival..he considered you as a Friend..I know in the future that you can make a ring in your team the Miami Heat..Just wait..like KOBE he wait 11 yrs.before he got his own ring and his first final MVP..in the LOS ANGELES LAKERS..the best thing the I like to Kobe..he is loyal,he spend his 16 yrs.in L.A.and if your Kobe`s friend..he will fight if somebody..insulting you..and his frankness..DON`T GIVE UP LEBRON…

  • shutup

    Yes it is a FACT that Lebron played Rose on D in the fourth quarter. It is a fact that in none of the games Rose scored below his avg. You guys do understand in order to score 20-21 ppg you need to score 5 points a quarter . Rose for his career avg 17 shots per game while making only 8, thats 2 shots made per quarter averaged out. That is over a sample size of 274 regular season games. In order to appease everyone that claims Lebron shut him down I have gone over the play by play of every 4th quarter of that series that the Heat won even the overtime, Lebron in total stole one pass that Rose made, and he wasnt the on ball defender. Wade blocked more shots of Rose’s in the 4th quarters and Haslem drew the bulk of the offensive fouls. I’m not saying that Lebron didn’t guard him well, ONCE AGAIN- Lebron played good D on Rose in the 4th, but that doesnt mean that he should draw the assignment of guarding the other teams pg consistently. The same goes for the couple of plays he had to guard Gasol, it doesnt make him the ideal candidate to guard opposing centers. Spot duty at best. One last question if he is the defensive stopper that everyone claims him to be, then how come he didnt draw the Dirk assignment? and to NBK you better off staying away from the offensive end with Lebron, after watching Kidd shut him down against the Mavs, it wouldnt be pretty. I just wish you would stay consistent, you quote stats to put Lebron as the front runner in the MVP race (which I agree to a point), but then try to discredit them when they don’t fit your agenda. Lebron playing point is a novelty, to try to recreate that on a larger scale will only expose more holes in the Heat’s offensive set. If Rose gets healthy before they meet in the playoffs I expect him to score around 21-22 ppg, I also expect the rest of the Bulls to under-perform.

  • Yesse

    This question has been asked a million times.

    The answer is yes. He could play point guard. He is alot like a bigger version of Derrick Rose.

  • Mike From Spain

    hmmm nbk, I think shutup is not completely wrong about the meaning of averages and how they affect the analysis of these few games and 4th quarters. They are not a perfect tool for analysis, but there is something to be said of regression to the mean. There is a legitimate interpretation of the data that would state that there was just a regression to the mean, and that it was not related to Lebron’s defense. Either Rose just regressed to the mean, either it was a team effort, or Lebron shut Rose down but cannot do this kind of assignment all game long (stamina limits, whatever), or his team is just better off with Lebron guarding other positions, or Spoelstra is dumber than a box of hammers. It all boils down to: Can Lebron guard elite PGs for a whole game? (we might never know if Spoelstra does not take the gamble). If yes, is his team better off when he guards opposing PGs, or when he guards opposing wing players? I honestly haven’t watched the Heat enough. I do know that Lebron has a disadvantage when posting up smaller players, and that his new face up shot should make things more interesting this year.

  • dan

    i realy hate the heat but that would make them more interesting to watch. i also think that lebron could be some hybrid between magic and pippen (on steroids) if hed be played that way

  • Lz – Cphfinest3

    Shut up won (2).

  • SiMoney

    LeBron did not “SHUT DOWN” Rose in 4th, not sure what games people were watching but everytime Rose was guarded by Lebron, he drove passed him but got caught up in doubles and triple teams, even in the last possession of the series, Rose was triple teamed! People give this guy to much credit as a defender when he is NOT a lockdown defender, hes a great help defender and a decent one on one defender but not great…and him playing PG would probably be good for the Heat but wouldnt last to long…

  • Fresh Boirdee

    Dang Shutup and NBK if they related basketball in math class I probably would have done a whole lot better. LOL! I personally do not think Lebron should play PG, I remember a few times this season Paul, Rondo, and Ty Lawson had him spinning and sliding all over the place….it was hilarious. I think Wade actually does a better job guarding PG’s; he’s closer to their height and stronger. And guarding Rose last year was very much a team effort headed by Lebron. He slowed Rose down, but he would still get past him and that is when the rest of the team would trap or close off the lane resulting in bad shot attempts and turnovers. I think if they meet up this year it will be different, now that Rose has developed a three, they can utilize the pick and roll and set screens to free up Rose or if the run the two guard back court Rose can play off the ball.

  • http://www.basketball-reference.com/about/ws.html nbk

    We all saw LeBron James put the clamps on Derrick Rose in the Eastern Conference Finals last season, and when the Heat asked James to slow down Rose in the fourth quarter yesterday, he came through again. Per the Miami Herald: “With Rose surging late in Sunday’s game, Spoelstra once again had James guard Rose. And it worked. Rose went off for six points and two assists in a 2 1/2-minute stretch early in the fourth quarter. With James on Rose for the final six minutes of the game, Rose managed only three points and one assist. ‘[Rose] is an unbelievable talent,’ James said. ‘He’s a great player, and a great person. I always take the challenge, and it’s good to be out there playing against him knowing he’s one of the best in the league.’ After a pair of Miami three-pointers to begin the fourth quarter, the Bulls went on a 13-2 tear. Rose sparked the run with a pair of assists and two free throws, then finished it with a 10-foot jumper and an acrobatic layup after slicing through three Heat defenders. That’s when James clamped down. Rose is most effective when he gets into the lane, either bulling his way to the basket or connecting on off-balance teardrops. James used his length and quickness to stay in front of Rose and force the ball out of his hands.”
    - from SLAM Jan 30th 2012
    .
    And again, you can’t use Rose’s dynamic scoring average to tell you his expected outcome against a static opponent. If you don’t understand the difference then either carefully read my comments or google it. I’m done trying to explain why the law of averages don’t work when comparing one players season average to their performance against a single opponent.
    .
    Derrick Rose shot 6.3% for the series when guarded by LeBron James. His 4th quarter shooting % is normally 35%. His shooting % against the Heat in the playoffs was 35%. So from above 35% from the field to 6.3% with LeBron guarding him. Can I make it anymore obvious?

  • bike

    Shutup and other Lebron haters still haven’t addressed Rose’s comment on James’ defense. As much as I hate to admit it, NBK is right. Rose played worse with James on him. Rose admitted that it was likely Lebron that contributed to his poor 4th quarter play. How much of a stan can you be if you won’t admit what the player already has?

  • shutup

    Who said I was a Lebron hater? I’m not a fan of the Bulls either. I am not arguing the fact that Lebron played good D on Rose. I am simply saying that Lebron playing pg for a full game would be a mistake. Using Lebron’s D on Rose to justify such a statement is a misrepresentation of a small sample size. Rose’s avg per game is more telling than any other snippet of a game. Lebron couldn’t and wouldn’t stop Rose from getting his avg. Rose is a consummate professional what else would you expect him to say? I bet if you asked him if he thinks Lebron could stop him though, he would give a politically correct answer to the effect of Hell Naw!!! and to NBK’s last statement 6 minutes is half a quarter seeing as Rose avg’s only about 5 points a quarter and while Lebron guarded him he had 3 and 1, so lets avg that over a 48 min game (he avgs 22 and 7 for arguments sake) at 3 points and 1 assist per 6 min thats 24 and 8 right on track for his career avg. and if you wanna argue that he only plays about 36 min a game then he’s right on track for his avg at 21 and 7.

  • bike

    So it’s not logical to assume that Rose’s entire game average would decline if James guarded him the entire game? That doesn’t even make sense. If Lebron was effective in the short time he spent guarding Rose, you’d have to go out of your way to assume he wouldn’t for an entire game. And you cannot possibly know what was going on in Rose’s head so to use your assumptions as a counter argument to a direct quote from Rose himself is just silly. All you and I know is what he said, you don’t know him or haven’t spoken to him to know what he meant. Apparently some of us watched the games and saw different things. The one thing we can’t dispute is Rose’s view of Lebron’s defense.

  • shutup

    I came to my conclusion from the way that Rose has answered questions in the past. Usually he errs on the side of being conservative and humble. Lebron’s D on Rose had no effect on Rose’s avg; as I stated with the 6 minutes NBK alluded too 3 and 1 in 6 minutes is right on par for Rose’s avg, thats 6 and 2 per quarter, 12 and 4 per half and 24 and 8 per game. Roses career avg is 21.1 and 7.6. SO too answer your question yes it is completely illogical to think Rose’s avg would decline if guarded by Lebron for the entire game.

  • http://www.basketball-reference.com/about/ws.html nbk

    You are dense. It’s not bout how many points he scores or how many assists he gets. (more shots + more touches = production its that simple) If his efficiency completely falls off a cliff he is hurting his team. LeBron LOCKED Rose up in the finals. He forced him to shoot 6%. The team helped, but it was still the same team that helped in the same games that rose shot 35% or above. LeBron’s defense was irrefutably superior to everyone else, whether he was on pace to get his scoring average or not. You are an idiot if you don’t understand at this point. A complete idiot.

  • http://www.basketball-reference.com/about/ws.html nbk

    The reason Rose’s production was still at his season average was because his shot attempts were higher. Obviously. I just feel that has to be stated because you are so dumb. His average is to score a set number of points on a set number of shots. Not to score his average on a higher number of shots. The only “average” that stays the same at that point is his points per game. All the other statistics that make Rose so effective have a different f*cking average. Like FG%. If that is not clear to the people that read shutups ridiculously stupid argument it should be now.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    .Rose’s FG attempts vs the Heat in the playoffs – 22 – 23 – 19 – 27 – 29.
    .Rose’s scoring #’s vs the Heat in the playoffs – 28 – 21 – 20 – 23 – 25.
    .Can I be anymore clear?

  • deadbored

    @shutup…ROSE DOES NOT PLAY 48 MINUTES A GAME YOU F*CKIN FOOL!!

    Meaning your last 2 paragraphs were a complete waste of time.

    shutup lost 3.

  • shutup

    Just because you cant understand statistics and averages doesnt mean you have to get insulting. Rose scores on average .60 points per minute of floor time. If Lebron guarded him for 6 minutes and he still scored 3.6points in that time frame, its not shutting him down. Did he make it harder yes, HE PLAYED GOOD D. Averaged he took 24 attempts to score 23.4 points which translates into .9 points per attempt Which is .3 lower than his career average of 1.2 points per attempt or a drop off of efficiency of 25% Now if you wanna argue that Lebron is responsible for half of his drop off that is .15 of a point that Lebron limited him per attempt roughly translated 3 points per 36 minutes. Now if you think having your best facilitatior chasing quicker players and then having his own efficiency drop is worth that 3 points then thats fine, but no coach in the league is going to take that trade; which brings me back to the point of the article; No it doesnt make sense to move Lebron to the point, having him guard pg’s for spot duty is the best case scenario, and we haven’t and won’t touch on his problems as the pg on the offensive end. @deadbored 48 would be the whole, when calculating % for anything you need a base. Go to school…….

  • deadbored

    wouldnt his average mins per game be the base?

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Dumbass. He shot 6% with LeBron guarding him. You can’t use his complete game numbers to come to a conclusion with what he would have done against LeBron. If you took the minutes LeBron was guarding Rose out of the equation he would have shot closer to his season average % and would have averaged over 30ppg. Do you not see where it says he forced Rose to shoot 6%?????? That is not a made up number.

  • deadbored

    What i mean is you essentially gave him 48 minutes to get to his career average.

  • deadbored

    @shutup, 18 and 6 not 21 and 7. i apologise you actually put his average mins at the end of that paragraph. but still lower numbers mostly attributed to lebron.

  • shutup

    A game would be the whole. 21.1 is his career avg per game. He avgs 36 min per game. I dislike using the 36min model but his avg is 20.7 per 36. What I’m saying Rose’s avg per game is a proven commodity, because its an average, shot attempts wont matter because like all superstars his attempts can always increase to make up for lack of efficency. But yes your math is correct if Lebron guarded him per 36 and his shot attempts remained constant(which they wouldnt) he would score exactly 3 points less per game. So the question is would those 3 points be worth having Lebron expend 100% effort on the defensive end. You also give up Lebrons weakside steals and blocks while he’s focused on Rose. NBK you keep throwing 6% around how many total shots did Rose attempt while being guarded by Lebron? How many makes? and Finally how many points ?

  • http://larrybrownsports.com/basketball/lebron-james-played-superb-defense-on-derrick-rose/70485 nbk

    Click my name. I’m done entertaining your dumb argument

  • deadbored

    Fair enough. In the end i think we all realise that lebron is an extraordinary player and his ability shows that he could get defensive stops on the best PG’s in the league but whether he could do it all game or if it would be a good idea or not are things we cant answer. I think that it would probably be a bad idea having him guard the pg all game but as an offensive playmaker its probably going to be essential in the post season. Wow…if he doesnt win a chip this year, does that mean people will start taking it easy on him and start sympathizing with the dude? I mean lets face it, the guy plays nearly as hard as anyone else in the league and people are still criticizing him. thanks to nbk and shutup for the maths class.

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