Blog Entry

LeBron James: Marion can't stop me by himself

Posted on: June 4, 2011 4:09 pm
Edited on: June 4, 2011 4:11 pm
LeBron James says he needs to be more aggressive and that no one, including Shawn Marion, can stop him one-on-one.  lebron-shawnPosted by Ben Golliver.

DALLAS -- Miami Heat forward LeBron James is always going to get his numbers. No matter who guards him, how often he faces double teams or what position he's asked to play, James produces, and produces big.

Over his last seven NBA seasons, James has averaged at least 26.7 points, 6.7 rebounds and 6.0 assists. Not a single other NBA player has hit those numbers once. 

Through two games in the NBA Finals, James's scoring and passing numbers have taken a hit. Despite playing 42.5 minutes per game, James is averaging 24 points, 8.5 rebounds and 4.5 assists and the Heat are averaging just 92.5 points as a team, down nearly 10 points from their regular season average of 102.1.

These aren't eye-popping declines given that defenses tighten up in the postseason, but any time James isn't performing to his usual standard, questions start getting asked. For starters: Is Mavericks forward Shawn Marion throwing him off of his game?

At his media availability on Saturday, James complimented Marion's performances during Game 1 and Game 2, but seemed to scoff at the notion that Marion individually had succeeded in slowing him down.

"I think Shawn Marion has done a great job," James said. "Especially offensively. He's picked up his game offensively. Hanging around the rim, getting some lay-ups, getting some tip-backs, playing around the rim. His activity throughout the first two games has been pretty good."

But what about the defensive end?

"I don't feel like it's one guy in this league that can stop me one-on-one," James said. "There's always a defense that's looking at me when I have the ball. He's the guy that's guarding me, but there's no one guy that can guard me."

When Marion has matched up against James, he's done about as well as can be expected. He's played both assertively and intelligently, competing regardless of whether he gets beaten for a highlight dunk. Late in Game 2, James was bottled up about as tightly as you'll see and he responded by forcing up late three-pointers against the shot clock that didn't fall, a critical factor in Dallas' massive comeback.

If James wasn't going to give him credit, Marion was happy to give it to himself.

"I've been doing it my whole career," Marion said of his defense on Saturday. "If you go back and look at my whole career, I've done it -- point guards all the way to big men. It's just another day at work."

Marion wanted to make it clear that his defensive abilities aren't simply a product of a new role he's taken on as he's gotten older or with this particular Mavericks team.

"I've always been a defensive stopper," Marion said. "I've always played defense. I had to go from playing the three to playing power forward. Name me players in this league who can do that. 6-foot=7, 225 pounds. Nobody can do that probably in the next generation coming. I've always prided myself on playing both ends of the floor. I'm a competitor."

So if it wasn't Marion stopping him, what's gone wrong offensively in James' opinion?

James attributed his decreased scoring to a lack of aggressiveness and pointed to the fact that he has attempted just six free throws in the first two Finals games combined.

"I do have to be more aggressive in the paint," James said. "Six free throws in two games -- I do that in my sleep in one game. So that's not me. I'm going to make a concerted effort to be more aggressive to try to get to the rim, create some more opportunities for myself and my teammates."

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said he pinpointed three late-game possessions that were "very poor" and later Wade explained that those three possessions were the forced, errant threes from himself and James. "

James seemed to agree, singling out one aspect of Dallas' defense that he believed deserved praise: the Mavericks' unexpected decision to aggressively defend him on the perimeter during pick-and-rolls late in the game.

"They did some things defensively that they hadn't done throughout the first two games all the way. They started to blitz me [and Heat guard Dwyane Wade's] pick-and-rolls, a lot our sets kept us on the perimeter. We didn't get into our sets early enough to give us more time. So we had to take contested long-range threes." 

Forcing James to take contested, long-range threes is the definition of succeeding defensively against him. Marion deserves the praise for his Game 2 performance, even if James wasn't willing to give it to him.

Since: Mar 20, 2011
Posted on: June 5, 2011 2:37 pm

LeBron James: Marion can't stop me by himself

Spencer who are so right..Couldn't have said it better myself..

Since: Mar 20, 2011
Posted on: June 5, 2011 2:35 pm

LeBron James: Marion can't stop me by himself

Now theres the reason I can't stand this N.G.R..If your so good my friend then why did a white guy take you and your buddy's to school..I HATE this guy and I agree he must be on roids cause his head is bigger than Barry's head..Try again next year my friend cause you are not beting the mavs this year, you had your chance and you blew it why cause your a CHOKE ARTIST,, and thats why you couldn't get it done in cleveland..

Since: Jan 14, 2007
Posted on: June 5, 2011 2:16 pm

LeBron James: Marion can't stop me by himself

His head barely fits on his shoulders...ROIDS

Since: Apr 11, 2011
Posted on: June 5, 2011 1:55 pm

LeBron James: Marion can't stop me by himself

   You see end of game wen Wade threw the last shot, went down, watched it hit back rim,..then grab his eye and look @ ref..LOL, I think lebron is starting to rub off on wade with all the crying for calls and pre celebrations.. Lebron IS a great player (not a team player) wen he wants to be, (Jordan is still in class by himself)..Magic and Larry (best TEAM players) played the game, they played for their teams, not for themselves. Thats wat separates them from Lebron. With miss Lebron its all ME ME ME. Read a good comment that he NEVER givs credit to any1 else for playn good defense or wateva. Im a season ticket holder for the celtics. When Rondo makes a dunk or slick pass he dosent stand there and stare @ a camera..he goes back and plays D. Bird stole the ball, passed it to dj and didnt celebrate, he went back on D. Cant picture bird staring @ a camera "look @ me".

Since: Jun 5, 2011
Posted on: June 5, 2011 1:41 pm

LeBron James: Marion can't stop me by himself

LeBron will never be a real champion, even if he has a ring for every finger and his two thumbs! He has no humility, and is so arrogant his head barely fits on the court! The true champions exist through their hard work, humility for the game and awknowledge their counterpart's achievements. Physically, he is one of the top ten, but real champion, I think not!

Since: Apr 25, 2011
Posted on: June 5, 2011 1:34 pm

LeBron James: Marion can't stop me by himself

labron is to basketball like a pimple is to a pretty face

Since: Apr 10, 2011
Posted on: June 5, 2011 1:30 pm

LeBron James: Marion can't stop me by himself

Hey Lebron, I can name another player who can't be guarded one on one and his name is Dirk Nowitzki. I can't wait to see the Mavs take the Heat down in this series and hoist that trophy. Guys like Kidd and Dirk deserve it and they are long overdue for holding that trophy up in the air.

Since: Feb 25, 2010
Posted on: June 5, 2011 1:26 pm

LeBron James: Marion can't stop me by himself

If he cant be stopped 1-on-1 than what happened at the end of the game? Did he give it to Dallas because he feels sorry for Dirk?

Since: Aug 6, 2008
Posted on: June 5, 2011 1:19 pm

LeBron James: Marion can't stop me by himself

There are only two options for Lebron not scoring a field goal in the 4th quarter. One is that LeBron James can be guarded and stopped by a defense. Two is that he quits on a game. If no person in the NBA can guard James than that means...... Yep option 2 by James own mouth. I think I would rather be stopped by a defense than to quit, but I am not an NBA player maybe he thinks that looks better.

Since: Mar 6, 2011
Posted on: June 5, 2011 1:03 pm

LeBron James: Marion can't stop me by himself

James is so astoundingly deranged. I mean he's mental.........and i honestly now think he WONT win a title, maybe ever. Ive not ever seen the like. There have egotistical sports stars. Plenty. But James operates at a new level. He is delusional, actually. First off, Kobe, dirk, Durant, paul, zach, melo, blake....none of them can be guarded by one guy. I doubt even a lot of lesser guys...DeMar DeRoazan.....basically is hard to guard one on one. And Ive never heard LBJ give credit.....unqualified praise to anyone else. never. not once.  This leads me to suspect Miami may have problems with a very veteran dallas team now that we are back in the big D.  Can you win with a head case as your leader?

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