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: Nov 12, 2009
Posted on: June 5, 2011 2:22 am

LeBron James: Marion can't stop me by himself

LeBron shoots 82% from the line in 4 quarters and has led the league in 4th quarter scoring numerous years and didnt do it this yr because hes on the bench from blowing teams out he also averaged 66 points per 48 minutes in the last 5 minutes and overtimes of games that are within 5 points the 2nd best was 51 pts  maybe you should research before u open ur stupid mouth. what is ur excuse going to be when he has 5 rings in about 6 years?

Since: Jul 26, 2007
Posted on: June 5, 2011 2:09 am

LeBron James: Marion can't stop me by himself

1.  Win
2.  Talk

In that order, LeBron.  Is that so hard to learn? 

Since: Mar 20, 2007
Posted on: June 5, 2011 1:58 am

LeBron James: Marion can't stop me by himself

As a Laker fan first, and a West fan second, of course I am rooting against LeRoid and the NBA Yankees. But in all honesty I had a bad feeling that the Heat would beat Dallas. But when people open their mouths and say things like that, it always give me a sense that the foot is gonna meet the mouth, that is just the kinda karma that can give me some hope that I will see the Prince Fail once again.....

Nothing like pride and arrogance from a guy who has yet to win anything. If you have to say it about yourself, it isnt worth saying, even if it is true..... 

Since: Oct 16, 2010
Posted on: June 5, 2011 1:45 am

LeBron James: Marion can't stop me by himself

I'm not LeBron's biggest fan. But the guy is seriously good. I hope stacks up some rings so people can't pull that stupid argument when comparing him to Kobe and Jordan.

Since: Jun 5, 2011
Posted on: June 5, 2011 12:54 am

LeBron James: Marion can't stop me by himself

Nobody needs to stop lebron in a close game in the final 2 minutes he does it all himself.  The oly way his team will win is if he drives and kicks or if the team does not foul him and let him hit a lay up.  If he goes to the free throw line he misses and the great thing for the other team if he is the one taking the jump shots. 

Since: Aug 23, 2006
Posted on: June 5, 2011 12:34 am

LeBron James: Marion can't stop me by himself

Check M.Jordan's championship rosters.....starting w/ 1991

Since: Dec 7, 2006
Posted on: June 5, 2011 12:25 am

LeBron James: Marion can't stop me by himself

I am glad that a Heat fan even thinks that he is overly cocky because so many fans are so in love with him and root for the team only because he is there.  If he left tomorrow, they would no longer be Heat fans.  But Prince James making these comments is going to make people like myself hate him even more.  I understand he is a superstar, but by saying that no one can stop him is very arrogant and proves that his ego is way too big.  He is very full of himself with his enormous ego and since he has left the Cavs, it has gotten worse.  He thinks the world revolves around him and that it should.  This is coming from a one time FAN who wanted him to be a Knick so badly.  But from 'The Decision' to the party the next day to all of his comments and the drama this year, I have grown sick of his cockiness and arrogance.  He is the reason why so many people are and have been rooting against Miami all year long and these comments by saying he cannot be guarded will only add to the hatred of both him and the Heat.  He has not won ANYTHING yet and should keep his big mouth shut. That party after he signed, they acted like they won the lottery, when in fact, they achieved nada.  If he wins a title or two or three, then he can talk.  But until he wins anything, his actions over the last year should tell him to keep his mouth closed if he doesn't want to lose any more support.

Since: Feb 25, 2008
Posted on: June 5, 2011 12:15 am

LeBron James: Marion can't stop me by himself

Dirk should be saying no one can guard him, hell his last basket to win the game he schooled Rupauls look a like, and lebron just watched as he passed my him also.....Arrogance gets u no where in this world and lebron is jst shooting himself in the foot..

Since: Feb 8, 2008
Posted on: June 5, 2011 12:08 am

LeBron James: Marion can't stop me by himself

No one loves himself more than LeBron.

Since: May 29, 2011
Posted on: June 4, 2011 11:55 pm

LeBron James: Marion can't stop me by himself

Lebron is the greatest in basketball history at something. He is the most over-rated basketball player in the history of the NBA.

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