Thursday, November 01, 2007

The Cavaliers 2007-08 Edition - Part 2 - LeBron James

The focal point of the Cavaliers is LeBron James. He is their leader and salvation. Everything in the organization revolves around him. Few sports teams have had the same opportunity to build on a player as the Cavaliers. And that means Michael Jordan too. His era, the 80's and 90's, hadn't glimpsed the global nature of today's NBA. With 200 million Chinese kids playing basketball and leagues forming around the globe, Jordan's legend will soon be eclipsed by LeBron, Carmello, Gilbert, Dwayne and other easily packaged stars.

Here's my thoughts on LeBron entering the 2007-08 season:

LeBron James is the most physically and mentally gifted athlete in the NBA. There isn't anything he won't be able to achieve. If we wants to win the scoring title, he can do it. Triple doubles all year? It will happen before his career is over. It will be our pleasure to watch him for years to come (and no, he ain't leaving town. Cleveland/Akron is the perfect situation for him. Did playing for the Cavs inhibit him from being mobbed by fans in China? Did it stop Nike from displaying a tall banner of him in Times Square? New York needs LeBron more than LeBron needs New York).

The quickness and agility are incomparable. Note the footwork. LeBron has already taken the inside against an over-matched opponent. Footwork is the name of the game playing inside. (This is why Danny Ferry never became the dominating player in the NBA like he was in college. He had no footwork skills.)

Here we see the speed and power. Bursting down the lane before anyone can catch up to him LeBron moves like a running back hitting the line. If he can surround himself with a couple of killer catch and shoot guys then it becomes impossible to stop him. Note I say "killer". Damon? Donyell? Boobie? Sasha? Who will it be?

Now for the leaping ability. Here LeBron dodges 7-footer Dirk Nowitski for a hoop. Is it unimaginable that LeBron could bring down 10+ boards a game? It will happen.

Double team? No problem. Try triple teaming. Without any other credible threat LeBron will see plenty of this all season.

Still LeBron isn't getting the calls he should. He is so strong that opponents bounce off of him and the refs more often than not call it the wrong way.

It's more than likely that LeBron will find a way to overcome the challenges facing him this season but his surrounding cast has become more suspect than ever before.

See my next post regarding the rest of the Cavs.

Copyright 2007 James D. Fisher
All Rights Reserved.

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