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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: Feb 12, 2009
Posted on: June 5, 2011 12:51 pm

LeBron James: Marion can't stop me by himself

And sports fans wonder why James is hated.

First, he calls a press conference to announce that him and his 2 cohorts are going to be a dynasty.

Second his classless ego states that no one can guard him.  Why do i want to watch such a prima donna??

Third I hope justice prevails and he gets his a$$ whipped. 

Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: June 5, 2011 12:43 pm

LeBron James: Marion can't stop me by himself

Honestly James. whether you can be guarded 1-1is not the question, I can name many players that cannot be guarded that way, not a big deal. On your own team, Wade nor Bosh can be guarded 1-1. The question is can you win a championship? The odds are in your favor the way that you stacked the deck with the way you honestly cheated in free agency. In the last game, you tried to control the last 6 minutes of the game yourself by handling the ball and just running out the clock. Mistake. The situation that you are in now is not one I would want to be in. If you lose, a huge choke. If you win, no big deal, you stacked the deck. Either way, I have little respect for you as a great player. You could not have been dominant in the seventies with Bird, Magic, etc. Just play and if you win, no big deal, if you lose, choker again.

Since: Dec 27, 2007
Posted on: June 5, 2011 12:39 pm

LeBron James: Marion can't stop me by himself

Not cheating called free agency you fucking idiot...

Lebron has shown over-and-over again that's he's a brilliant basketball player. He can score, pass, rebound and play defense. There is no doubt he's the best all-around player in the game. However...

Lebron is classless. His free-agent fiasco showed what an ego maniac he is. His on court posturing is boring. Celebrating with 7 + minutes left is classless and just plain stupid. That came back to bite him in his tuchus and now he's spinning and bragging.

The bottom line is can the eat get over themselves to play basketball for 48 minutes? Dallas is on a mission to reverse 2006 and Nowitzki is playing possessed. If they do, LeBron will get the bulk of the blame and it's well-deserved.

If you talk-the-talk, you better walk-the-walk.

Since: Mar 16, 2009
Posted on: June 5, 2011 12:38 pm

LeBron James: Marion can't stop me by himself

Wow, I can't believe I am about to make this post but hey LeBron look at what Mark Cuban has been doing-Keeping his mouth shut!  Ok let's see what have we learned DWade seems to be the one that makes you guys go.  Late in the game you started shooting jump shots and did not attack the rim, oh expect that one where you got rejected by the rim. (I guess the rim can guard you).  The series is 1-1 and you are going on the road and you say this.  Dude shut your mouth and play.  After you win the ring then you say something like this.  I believe you will have more boos than usual and you are not Phil Jackson and are not going to get in the refs head.  

Since: Dec 14, 2006
Posted on: June 5, 2011 12:35 pm

LeBron James: Marion can't stop me by himself

Loul Deng did a damn good job for extended periods of time in half court situations in the ECF. LBJ's easier to contian in a half court than a lot of players I could name but I won't mention them in the same light as this guy.

Since: Mar 28, 2011
Posted on: June 5, 2011 12:03 pm

LeBron James: Marion can't stop me by himself

Not cheating called free agency you fucking idiot...

Since: Apr 28, 2010
Posted on: June 5, 2011 11:57 am

LeBron James: Marion can't stop me by himself

I can name 20 players in the league who can't be guarded by one guy

Since: Dec 19, 2010
Posted on: June 5, 2011 11:49 am
This comment has been removed.

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Since: May 7, 2011
Posted on: June 5, 2011 11:46 am

LeBron James: Marion can't stop me by himself

I honestly can't recall any games that I've seen someone just completely shut-down LBJ on the offense and defensive end. All teams play any team with one or more superstar(s):Let him or them get their points,and focus on shutting down the supporting cast. The star or stars are either going to shoot the team to a victory or to a loss.

Since: Feb 11, 2009
Posted on: June 5, 2011 11:30 am

LeBron James: Marion can't stop me by himself

I think to some point LeBron is correct.  He is a physical talent that has never been seen in the NBA and at times he is unstoppable.  However, it is his mind that stops him.  With his size, he should play at the power forward position, instead he is really the point.  Using his point skills, if I were him, I go inide and shot over the little guy.  Sure, Marion plays great D, but LeBron can post him also.  I seen LeBron as the greatest phyiscal talent in the league, but he needs to be more physical and not meaning slam dunks.

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