White Hat Sports Headlines

Friday, May 29, 2009

Lebron, if you're listening, it's me, Aaron.

The Cleveland Cavaliers will not win their series against the Orlando Magic, and here's why...

Lebron James.

I get that Lebron is putting up terrific numbers, there is no denying that. But basketball is a game of flows, and right now Lebron is killing the Cavs flow. He gets the ball, stands at the top of the key, dribbles around then with around 5 seconds on the clock either drives recklessly to the hoop hoping for a foul or shoots a long jumper. Because he is such a talented player he converts a large percentage of those plays, but he in turn takes his teammates out of the game. They never see the ball, so they don't know what to do. You can only set so many screens, make so many cuts before you get sick of not being able to at least touch the ball. And that not only kills your offensive flow, it kills your defensive flow. These players were all at one time the top player on their team, the alpha dog, and even the worst offensive players need to feel like they are part of the offense or their defense suffers. Just ask Ben Wallace. Players just don't play defense with the same intensity if the offense isn't flowing.

Don't believe me? Take a look...

Cavs playoff record when Lebron takes 25 shots or less: 10-0

Cavs playoff record when Lebron takes over 25 shots: 0-3

It's a lesson that took awhile for Michael Jordan to learn...dominate the game, but do it while keeping your teammates involved in the flow. If you allow them to feel like they are making contributions, they will succeed. Just look at guys like Steve Kerr, Luc Longley, Dennis Rodman and Brian Williams (or practically anyone on those Bulls teams other than Horace Grant and Scottie). Jordan rewarded them for playing hard, he gave them the ball in situations where they could succeed. All the players in the NBA are capable of playing roles and doing them well, they are the best of the best at what they do.

It's a lesson Kobe still has yet to learn. In fact, many dominant players never learn it. But Lebron is a different type of player, and I fully expect him to figure it out sooner rather than later.

It just might not be this year.

~Aaron Jackson

(Aaron is the co-producer of White Hat Sports. He is also currently a sports reporter/anchor for an ABC/Fox affiliate in Maine.)

No comments: