MVP of the night | LeBron James, chess player
But where will it stop? LeBron James ? The question has been around for a few years, and more so this season since he rushed for the scoring record held by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. At the beginning of the season we thought he would need 50-60 matches to achieve this and finally at his current pace he might only need 40!
In last night’s win in Sacramento, the Lakers winger had 37 points, 8 rebounds, and 7 assists and averaged… 38 points as he blew out 38 candles! After all, his team is on a five-game winning streak, and he’s very close to qualifying for the playoffs, even for the playoffs. The Lakers are just two wins behind the Clippers, currently in 6th!
A decisive move
This rise in the rating coincides with the desire to play basketball like LeBron James. “70 points on the racket, that’s who we are,” explains Darwin Ham. “We want to play fast, physical, free and strong”. The description fits perfectly with the qualities of LeBron, who remains a terrible space sink and an effective player when it comes to getting to the rim.
Like this crucial basket that led to Domantas Sabonis’ 6th foul. With less than 50 seconds left, LeBron drove to the rim to give the Lakers the lead with an extra free throw. It is no coincidence that LeBron targeted Sabonis in this move. “We’re just trying to read the game and for me it’s just about figuring out how I can exploit their defense and allow us to be successful,” he said. “I know what’s going on on the field, I know what can happen if there’s an extra foul or a certain player is in foul trouble…He was a key player on their team and we wanted to attack him. It was an important move because we were two points behind and I managed to get us one point ahead. »
LeBron James, the brain
Basically, LeBron explains, it all starts with executing the pick-and-roll and reading the defense. For him, it’s not about watching what his quarterback or screenwriter is going to do, but watching how the other three players position themselves.
“For me, playing the pick-and-roll isn’t about watching what my defender is doing or what the guy setting the screen is doing. It’s more about watching the line at the back as the three players who will move to stop look to pick and roll. Personally, my vision is always focused on this 3rd line of defenders, this 3rd level. »
The day before, after the Nuggets’ win over the Cavaliers, a reporter asked Mike Malone to compare Nikola Jokic and LeBron James. His answer fits perfectly with LeBron’s analysis of the pick-and-roll read: he moves his pawns and watches the play like a chess player.
“Besides their athleticism, their game intelligence and ability to play chess, not checkers, is just remarkable,” the Denver coach said. “The ability to analyze the situation, not just how we defend against them, but the other four defenders on the pitch. Nicola is like a computer. “He reads them all very quickly and gets them right 9.9 times out of 10.”
The same can be said about LeBron James.
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