How many times have we heard it? Epitomized by Thom Loverro in the Washington Post, the popular view is that the Eastern Conference Finals boils down to “the glory of team basketball vs. the glory of the individual.”
We’ll hear it again in the Finals.
But how true is that? Step back for a moment from The Decision and focus on what actually affects the basketball team.
LeBron is playing point guard during crunchtime lately. Look at their crunchtime lineup. Bosh and Haslem up front with Miller. Wade is in but James is bringing the ball up the court, distributing, commanding, as much as anyone.
Speaking of selfish players, SF/PF (and apparently now, PG) LeBron averaged within 1 assist per game of the MVP this year, who is a point guard.
The selfish King James also rebounds the ball well for a “small forward”.
And we all know about his shut down defense after the way he personally showed the MVP the door last week.
Does “The King” have to play point guard? Rebound? Play D? Think about it, couldn’t he just take it easy, grab his scoring title and still be just as famous and sell just as many shoes and jerseys? Couldn’t he have just grabbed the most money instead of sacrificing (some small sliver of) salary to let the Heat re-sign Haslem?
Sounds like a team player to me.
Sure, they break down into isolation offense all-too-often, as if no other NBA team does. But LeBron running the point also leads to some of the best passing in the league. And when they start running out on the break it is special. Except for the rim.
I don’t even know who I’m pulling for yet. I love the Mavs. They were robbed in 2006 by the very team they now face. I feel LeBron had his MVP crown unfairly taken for off-court reasons. My friends may disown me if I cheer for the Heat. I may be on the bandwagon if I cheer for the Mavs.
But who do I think will win?
I think Dirk has a ridiculous game or two in him (including at the foul line). So do the Heat. And their defense is giong to close out too quickly on the rest of the team. I hope the Mavs break out their zone defense, but I still think Miami will be able to penetrate.
Heat in 6.