v1n5anity wrote:I posted this in the LeBron thread, but I'll post it here too:
So here's something I noticed about LeBron:
LeBron quits against Boston multiple games, most notably in a PIVOTAL game 5 (series tied 2-2) when they got blown out by 32 at home. Ends with 15 points on 3-14 shooting (-22). Nice statline the next game but he checked out (knowing that was his last game as a Cavalier). Then he "decides" to go to Miami.
This is where we truly saw on the grand stage that LeBron has issues in pressure moments. He choked in multiple games, most notably games 4-6. Had 8 points in game 4, choked in 4th quarters all series long (see below) where he averaged about 3 points per 4th quarter in the 6 game series. He scored 17 and 21 points in games 5 and 6, respectively, and averaged just 15.3ppg in the last 3 games of the series (lost all 3).
Won championship. This was his year. 100% credit for this one.
Won but got real lucky they didn't lose game 6 down 3-2 and down 5 with just 28.3 seconds left in the game after 2 terrible LeBron turnovers. Was tentative for most of first 6 games. They dared him to shoot and he wasn't confident. Diaw held him to 3-21 shooting in the series when he guarded him. Games 1-3 he was straight scared and clearly took a step back mentally, averaging just 16.7 ppg in the first 3 games. Game 4 Wade carried them but LeBron ended up scoring like 9 points in the last couple minutes of garbage time to pad his stats and end up with more points than Wade. Game 5 he goes 8-22 and lost. Game 6 was pretty bad for most of game (until first half of 4th) and would've ended the series with 2 terrible turnovers and elimination. It was going to be the same story all over again for LeBron. But of course, he got real lucky that Ray Allen saved his a**. He went off in game 7 and all of a sudden we're hearing he's GOAT, and something about Mount Rushmore lol.
Played well first 2 games, showed up for 3 quarters total during games 3-5. Game 3 he shows up for first quarter for 14 points, ends with 22 points with 7 turnovers (-21). All while getting completely owned on defense. Game 4 doesn't show up first half with only 9 points and down 19 (-15) then he scores a meaningless 19 in the 3rd to pad his stats and ends with 28 and 8. Game 5 comes out strong in first quarter had 17-6-1 only 14-4-4 rest of game and couldn't stop the bleeding in the 2nd quarter when Heat as a team scored 11 points and he had just 3.
End result: if Spurs close out game 6 last year as they should've, we're looking at LeBron quitting/choking in multiple games in a series (and these are PIVOTAL games) in 4 of the last 5 years! Including 3 of the last 4 Finals. If the East wasn't so weak, they wouldn't have made the Finals 4 straight years. Have they faced even 1 true contender in the East during the last 4 seasons? I don't believe so.
Combining a "what have you done for me lately?" mentality with today's star loving media machine resulted in people truly overestimating LeBron's legacy and ignoring his failures.
The guy is an amazing player and should already be considered among the best SFs to ever play the game, but the MJ comparisons, the Mount Rushmore comments, and the notion that he was somehow unquestionably greater than Kobe & other great players were all ridiculous, impulsive and a result of people being blinded by the moment and what media pundits sell..
Something similar is happening with Duncan vs Kobe btw. Timmy has had an AMAZING career, and he shoukd get his recognition, but all of the sudden after this title (and after Kobe being injured and the Lakers being irrelevant) he's become unquestionably greater than Kobe too..
My take on the whole Duncan vs Kobe debate is clear: Kobe is the superior (by far IMO) individual talent, Duncan is the better team player, but the answer to the "who's greater?" question should NOT arise solely from team accomplishments (like number of titles or win %) given that those are ENORMOUSLY dependant on external factors (quality of teammate & coaching talent mostly) but from a understanding (that can derive from no other place than an understanding of the game and of the players' abilities) of who has shown the greater capacity to individually influence a basketball game in his team's favor.
That's where we start breaking down Duncan and Kobe's offensive abilities, their defensive abilities, their consistency, their profficiency and efficiency, their leadership, their clutchness, their bball IQ... and IMO the conclusion that inevitably will arise is that, at the very least, there in fact is a debate to be had, there are arguments in favor of both, and that Duncan definitely ISN'T "unquestionably" greater.
This whole blinded by the moment thing has gotten as far as people tweeting stuff like "MJ - Kareem - Duncan".