Boston Celtics: The Big Green Machine

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This Just In: LeBron Can’t Shoot

Posted by r1zzo23 on May 25, 2009

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Anyone checking the box score this morning must think that LeBron James dominated the game from start to finish, but didn’t get help from his teammates. That could be true, but if James could hit a jump shot, maybe the Cavaliers take the 2-1 lead in this series.

Everyone likes to remember LeBron’s Game 1 where he shot 20-30 from the field for 49 points (in a losing effort). He was on fire in every sense of the phrase. He was knocking down 22-foot jumpers with ease and, when that is happening, he is unguardable. Last night, however, this was not the case.

Looking at LeBron’s shot chart, he was his typical dominant self at the rim, finishing the game eight for ten on layups and one for two on dunks. That right there is good for 18 points, so he’s off to a nice start. Then, with the refs blowing the whistle for him, perhaps many favorable calls, LeBron ended up shooting 24 free throws, sinking 18 of them. That’s good for 75%. In the fourth quarter alone, he shot seven of 12 from the line. Missing six free throws all night isn’t that bad, but to miss five in crunch time is unacceptable from the supposed best player in the league.

If you thought the free throws were bad, the jumpers are worse. One game after “The Shot”, LeBron bricked seven of his eight three-point attempts. Add to that he shot another one of eight from 2-point jumpers from outside the paint, making him a total of 2-16 on jump shots. It’s obvious you’re not going to stop LeBron from getting to the rim. Couple the fact he does attack the rim so much along with the refs protecting him, he’s going to get to the line his fair share as well. But if you get him to settle for jump shots, you’ve just increased your team’s chances of winning.

LeBron James has these games where he can’t miss a jumper once per postseason. Two seasons ago, it was his magical game against the Detroit Pistons. Last year, it was Game 7 against the Boston Celtics with his duel against Paul Pierce. This year, Game 1 against Orlando was his great shooting game, and it was all for naught.

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