Tag:LeBron James
Posted on: January 19, 2012 8:50 pm

Video: Josh McRoberts cheapshots LeBron

Posted by Royce Young

Hey Josh McRoberts, that's Andrew Bynum's move. Except LeBron James is a tad bit bigger, stronger and faster than J.J. Barea.

In the first quarter of the Lakers showdown with Miami, LeBron drove hard to the basket. Metta World Peace grabbed him from behind and then McRoberts came over the top to meet LeBron. But instead of even remotely going for the ball, McRoberts threw a forearm right into LeBron's grill.

McRoberts was assessed a technical for the move. I don't know if he was trying to send a message, but there's a difference between a clean hard foul at the rim and a total cheapshot, which is what McRoberts pulled.
Posted on: January 19, 2012 6:13 pm

LeBron James will play against Lakers

Posted by Royce Young

There was some doubt whether the Heat would be without both Dwyane Wade and LeBron James after LeBron left Miami's shootaround Thursday morning with flu-like symptoms.

But the team announced Thursday afternoon that LeBron will indeed play against the Lakers. I mean, come on, like he was going to miss this game.

LeBron dealt with the same symptoms against the Spurs Tuesday but after getting some fluid was able to overcome it and put on a show, scoring 33 points included a 19-point outburst in the third.

So even though there's no Wade, Thursday night's game featuring the Lakers and Heat will still be must-watch basketball. LeBron versus Kobe is something you can't miss.
Category: NBA
Posted on: January 19, 2012 3:06 pm
Edited on: January 19, 2012 3:14 pm

5 Things to Watch: Lakers at Heat

The Heat need LeBron James, who is a gametime decision with flu-like symptoms, against the Lakers Thursday night in Miami. (Getty Images)

By Matt Moore

The Heat and Lakers are probably the most recognizable teams in the league at this moment in time. Featuring a likely six All-Stars between them, it's a marquee matchup of the season. Even with Dwyane Wade out and LeBron James a gametime decision, all eyes will be on South Beach Thursday night to see if the Lakers can get past the wall they've recently hit against LeBron's teams, and if Kobe Bryant can continue what has been an incredible month for him. The Lakers need this game to avoid another loss to a playoff team, and their second loss in three games, while the Heat need a win to stave off a disastrous four losses in five games stretch. With that, here are 5 Things to Watch or Miami Heat vs. L.A. Lakers 2012, Round 1. 

1. A Sick Attitude: LeBron James isn't feeling well. And it's not even the Finals! (Hey-O!) James is a gametime decision against L.A. due to "flu-like symptoms" that he's been dealing with this past week. James was also not feeling great against the Spurs and missed several layups and jumpers in the first half. Then apparently he had a Hi-C juice box at the half because he came out and demolished the Spurs in the third quarter to help the Heat turn a double-digit deficit into a double-digit route. That's what he can do. The question will be if his condition has worsened and how he reacts to it. Thanks to Michael Jordan, expectations actually raise if you have the flu. So LeBron's under pressure not only to win, but to extra special while sick. With the compact schedule, there's little rest, so James could be far less than 100 percent Thursday night. Which pretty much dooms the Heat. This is not the Hawks.

2. Spreading the Wealth: Kobe Bryant has been ridiculous over the past week, Mavericks game aside. He's been on tear of scoring 40 per game which came to an end against the Mavericks, but they got the win anyway. He's also been shooting an insane amount. His usage rate, or percentage of possessions used, is at 39.7 percent. So basically 4 out of every 10 times the Lakers come down the floor, he's the one who winds up with a shot or turnover. Against Miami, he may want to get everyone else involved so the Heat's help rotation defense doesn't neutralize everyone else, leaving him to go it alone. Granted, Dwyane Wade being out opens up chances for him (Shane Battier remarked after practice today that he was going to get some Hail Mary's in before the game). But the Lakers can dominate the Heat inside. An efficient game from Bryant that uses Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum's advantage over a small Heat frontline to open up opportunities for Kobe could be the difference. That way Kobe gets the points, and the win.

3. The Inside Man: Well, I was worried about Andrew Bynum tearing the Heat apart, but Eddy Curry might play. The Heat are saved! But seriously, Bynum should be able to have his way with the smaller Joel Anthony and much smaller Chris Bosh. The Heat may even put Dexter Pittman on Bynum due to his size, but the youngster won't have the experience or muscle to hang with the wunderkind. If Bynum gets touches, the Lakers can play at their pace and rough up the Heat. Do that and you slow down the Heat's transition attack, their biggest asset.

4. Old Friends: Mike Brown knows LeBron James' tendencies as well as anyone in the league, having coached him for years in Cleveland. And setting aside whatever personal history exists between them, Brown will likely have his team prepared to combat James' effectiveness, flu or no flu. Whether it's goading him into his ineffective mid-range jumper, bringing help at the right time and position, or attacking one hand or another, Brown will have one of the best books on James you can have in this league, and he has a quality defensive roster and Metta World Peace to implement on him. Classic matchup: superstar power versus coaching stratagem.

5. Next Generation: Norris Cole and Darius Morris could have a lot to say about this game Thursday night. Cole provides a full-speed, no hesitation bucket creator for the Heat they desperately need coming off the bench. Morris provides an athletic point guard, which they haven't had in eons. Derek Fisher's savvy and Mario Chalmers' athleticism and improved shooting should cancel one another out, which means whichever guard can make the most of the attention drawn by their superstar big brothers will make a big swing in a game that features a lot of veterans in role positions. You hate for a game to come down to two rookies, but considering the matchups, whichever handles the pressure better could help their team to a monstrous win.

Your Plus-3 for the game:

- Don't be surprised to see Chris Bosh heavily involved in trying to draw out Pau Gasol, who has struggled with defense in space this season. Bosh has excelled at the pump fake and go, but if his jumper isn't falling, Gasol can pack the lane along with Bynum, keeping the Heat in mid-range jumper mode.

- The odds of a physical conflict in this game are pretty high. Between Udonis Haslem, Andrew Bynum, Bryant and Battier, Matt Barnes, Metta World Peace and the rest of the Heat bench, this will likely not be a pretty game.

- Mike Miller hit his shots against the Spurs in his first game back. He better hope he hasn't used them all up. The Lakers will bring a lot of help and cheat inside on drives, which means Miller will have looks. If he knocks them down, that puts the Lakers' defense into disarray.
Posted on: January 19, 2012 2:35 pm

Howard leads second returns for All-Star 2012

Posted by Royce Young

The second batch of All-Star ballot returns are out and leading the entire league again in votes is Dwight Howard with 1,161,797 votes with Kobe Bryant still second with 1,110,379. Second in the East is Derrick Rose (1,040,210), who jumped LeBron James (972,580) and second in the West Kevin Durant (973,152).

If the voting ended today, the East's starting five would be Derrick Rose, Dwyane Wade, LeBron, Carmelo Anthony and Howard. In the West it would be Chris Paul, Kobe, Durant, Blake Griffin and Andrew Bynum.

And looking over the vote totals, those starting lineups seem to be a bit set in stone, barring injury. Nobody is really all that close to catching anyone (Dirk was close to Griffin in the last voting, but Griffin has opened up a 300,000 vote lead).

So, are the fans getting it right so far? Kind of looks like they are, quite honestly. Can't argue with the West too much. I still take a little issue in that Kevin Love has been absolutely killing it in Minnesota so far this season averaging 26-15, but he's not part of Lob City, so it's hard to see him ever topping Griffin. Same goes for LaMarcus Aldridge, who is off to a fantastic start.

In the East, there's really nothing to change. Melo isn't really a power forward, but you can fudge the All-Star rosters a bit. Rajon Rondo isn't playing better than Rose, there's no better 2 in the East than Wade and of course LeBron and Howard are the best at their positions in the entire league. Injuries have played a role early in the season though, so you have to wonder if everyone will be healthy for the All-Star Game.

If the voting holds like this -- and it should -- we'll have a pretty accurate representation of the best in each league to start the All-Star Game. Again, I'd go with Love over Griffin, but that's not a sure thing case to make at this point. And it's not going to change anyway.
Posted on: January 19, 2012 11:57 am
Edited on: January 19, 2012 1:20 pm

Wade out, James gametime decision vs. Lakers

LeBron James is a gametime decision with flu-like symptoms and Dwyane Wade is out vs. the Lakers Thursday (Getty Images)
By Matt Moore

LeBron James was sent home from Heat practice Thursday morning with flu-like symptoms and Dwyane Wade will not play vs. the Los Angeles Lakers Thursday night, via the AP: 
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra says guard Dwyane Wade's status remains day-to-day with a sprained right ankle. Wade will not play Thursday night.

It's the second straight game Wade has missed with the ankle problem and the fifth overall missed because of injuries so far this season. Wade sat out three games earlier this month with a sore left foot.

James has been battling flu-like symptoms for much of this week.
via James sent home from shootaround with illness, Wade day-to-day - NBA - CBSSports.com News, Rumors, Scores, Stats, Fantasy Advice.

James was suffering from the same ailment during Tuesday night's game against the San Antonio Spurs. James started off struggling in that game, missing several layups. Then the second half came and apparently someone got a fluids treatment, because James started dropping three-pointers like the bucket was a hula-hoop. He wound up scoring 33 points along with five rebounds and 10 assists, because he's a freak of nature like that.

But with him missing practice, you have to wonder if he'll be well enough to even make it to the court, and if so, how effective he'll be against the Lakers' quality wing defenders. With James not at full strength and Wade out, the Lakers have to be expected to win in Miami for a big road win, no matter the circumstances.

Expect for there to be one zillion references to "the flu game" of Michael Jordan, his Game 5 effort in the 1997 Finals, between now and tonight's game. Unfortunately, as nearly everyone is aware, LeBron James is not Michael Jordan, no one is Michael Jordan, this is not the Finals, and any effort at all on James' part will be hindered by the physical effects of his illness. 

Huge break for the Lakers.

Mike Brown said Thursday at practice that he has no doubt James will play. Via the AP: 

"When you talk about great players like him, those guys even though they're sick or a little injured or whatever, they find a way to perform at a high level," Lakers coach Mike Brown, one of James' former coaches with the Cleveland Cavaliers, said Thursday afternoon. "I don't think it's any different for LeBron."
And Chris Bosh summed up how most people will regard the Heat's situation against the Laker: 

"The show still goes on," Heat forward Chris Bosh said. "We're still going to expect to win."

Posted on: January 17, 2012 11:45 pm
Edited on: January 18, 2012 12:01 am

Report Card: King James takes over

Posted by Ben Golliver and Matt Moore


LeBron James

There were plenty of reasons to shut it down and coast when things got off to a bad start on Tuesday night. Three straight losses entering a tough contest with the San Antonio Spurs. A 14-point halftime deficit. No Dwyane Wade. He was reportedly battling a cold. An opponent seemingly clicking on all cylinders and doing back-breaking things like hitting a half court shot at the end of the first half. But LeBron James went the other way, exploding in the third quarter for 17 points on his way to one of his stupefying stat lines: 33 points, 5 rebounds and 10 assists on 12-21 shooting in 35 minutes. James connected on four 3-pointers in this one, more than he'd made in the entire season combined up to this point. Thanks to James, the Heat won the third quarter 39-12 and never looked back, cruising to a 120-98 home victory. -- BG

Mike Miller

Mike Miller made his season debut on Tuesday night after sitting for the first three weeks as he recovered from a sports hernia surgery. His return was, well, flawless. iller played just 15 minutes, barely enough time to get fully warm, and hadn't played in an NBA game in roughly 8 months yet he shot 6-for-6 from the field, all 3-pointers, to finish with 18 points, 4 rebounds and 1 assist. Ridiculous. He brought the hustle, too, as he crashed after loose balls multiple times but this game was all about making San Antonio pay for leaving him. -- BG

Chris Bosh

This right here is arguably the best play of Chris Bosh's career. It came near the end of an excellent two-way performance, one that will no doubt get overshadowed by James' explosion. Bosh finished with 30 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 setals on 14-22 shooting in 37 minutes. On this play, he corralled a defensive rebound, slowly pushed tempo. When no Heat guards came to collect the ball, Bosh casually dribbled at Spurs big man Tiago Splitter before unleashing a reverse spin move as he entered the paint and rising to slam with two hands. He swung so forcefully on the rim that he nearly hit his head on the backboard. Sensational stuff. -- BG

Utah Jazz

We harp on teams all the time for not taking care of business against weaker opposition or at home. With an excellent homecourt advantage and the absence of both Chris Paul and Mo Williams, a Tuesday night match-up is a should-win for the Jazz, even if no one is quite sure what their ceiling or basement is yet. Not only did Utah win, they blew out the Clippers, beating them at their own highlight-manufacturing game. Blake Griffin took a backseat to Jeremy Evans for a night, as Utah's long leaper through down alley-oop after alley-oop, adding two high altitude blocks for good measure. The Jazz's second half was a clinic on how to close the door on a beaten team, as they opened the game up with well-timed passes, hard cuts and excellent team defense. Rookie Enes Kanter fiinished with 10 points and 5 rebounds, cracking double-digits as a pro for the first time. And, wouldn't you know it, a strong two-handed dunk was included in that output. -- BG

George Karl's Second Quarter

Karl used seven players in three different lineup combinations during a 19-4 run against Milwaukee. He relied on Corey Brewer, who no one has ever relied on, and he delivered with 10 points in the quarter. Having depth on a team is one thing. Using it effectively is another. -- MM

David Lee

David Lee is playing well. On defense, even. He's got the tenacity of his Knicks days, a better offensive repertoire and keeps coming up with big buckets in key moments. The Warriors needed a big year from Lee and so far he's giving it to them. -- MM

Brandon Jennings' Fourth Quarter

He was rallying! And dropping floaters! And hitting threes! And the lead was single-digits! And then he took a series of Kobe shots. You know, 40-foot threes off the dribble. So close, Jitterbug. So close. -- MM

Cleveland Cavaliers

Truth be told, the Cavs kind of outplayed the Warriors on a lot of levels. But their turnovers destroyed them. Kyrie Irving had six all his own. His overall performance was great, but the turnovers were deadly. The Cavaliers are looking good in losses, though, and that's a step in the right direction. -- MM

San Antonio Spurs' Second Half

That's how bad they were in the second half. They deserve two "F"s. May God have mercy have their soul. -- MM
Posted on: January 17, 2012 3:46 pm
Edited on: January 17, 2012 3:46 pm

NBA GMs do not list LeBron James as leader

By Matt Moore

The NBA GM poll every year has a few interesting Nuggets. You get a feel for some of the underlying trends when it comes to players, coaches or teams. And in the case of LeBron James, this year's poll results are very telling. 

For example, from NBA.com:  

 So that's a pretty sterling resume when it comes to what management thinks of LeBron James, huh? Second Most Valuable, most athletic, most dangerous in the open floor, best at his position. It's pretty clear that the GMs aren't punishing James for his decision a year and a half ago to team up with Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade on national television. They respect him and marvel at his talents, just like so many members of the media did. When people complain about James' selection as the best player in the NBA they need to understand that if you watch this league night in an night out, there's just no way around it. 

And yet.

There's this.

Not receiving votes: LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, or any member of the Miami Heat.

Let's be clear on that. Duncan, Garnett, Kidd, Durant, Nash, Bryant, Paul, Rose. That's a list of the best players in the league, now or in the recent (within five years) past. Only Tyson Chandler, who just won a title as the starting center, and Derek Fisher remain as non-star players. Derrick Rose is 23. And yet all received votes, and LeBron James, arguably the best basketball player in the NBA, did not.

That's a pretty clear indictment. It's not a surprise. James has never been known to be in the ear of teammates telling them what they need to do or motivating them. He tends to hide from the biggest moments for some inexplicable reason, or fail in them. He's known as being too playful at times and not taking things seriously enough. And he's also discussed as the ultimate complimentary player.

But not a leader.

In a lot of ways, society, pundits, and fans would rather you be a leader than be talented. There's a more direct correlation between leadership and winning than talent and winning. James wasn't gifted with leadership abilities, nor has he sought them out. He has plenty of opportunties. He's known as a kind of guidance counselor for young players, particularly John Wall, Kyrie Irving, and Tristan Thompson. But you rarely hear teammates talking about the advice he's given. He has his own culture, his own inuslar identity.

The effect of Wade and James playing together clearly dilutes thier influence as well. How do you lead clearly when you have to check with your partner?  This is the identity of James, and it speaks to what we value in sports, as well as the continuing dichotomy of James as the most valuable basketball player alive and yet not one of the truly great players in the game. It seems we're always finding something new to tell James he doesn't do. First it was carrying a team to the playoffs. Then the Finals. Then winning the Finals. Then managing his ego. Now it's delivering in the clutch and leading. And yet none of the other things matter if those final two pieces of the puzzle are solved. And we're left with the question we've faced for half a decade.

Will James ever put it all together?
Posted on: January 17, 2012 2:25 pm
Edited on: January 17, 2012 2:27 pm

NBA GMs survey: Heat over Thunder in 2012 Finals

Posted by Ben Golliver  


The NBA's chief basketball operations executives have weighed in: The Miami Heat should win the 2012 NBA Finals.

An annual survey of the NBA's general managers by NBA.com reveals that 74.1 percent believe the Heat will revenge their 2011 Finals loss to the Dallas Mavericks. Back in November, Miami was set by Las Vegas as the early favorite to win the title.

An overwhelming 96.3 percent voted Miami as Eastern Conference champions. Miami is currently the No. 6 seed in the East, trailing the conference-leading Chicago Bulls by 2.5 games. The Bulls received just 3.7 percent of the vote. Miami topped Chicago in the Eastern Conference Finals last season.

Out West, the conference-leading Oklahoma City Thunder are the clear favorite. 67.9 percent of voters believed the Thunder will win the Western Conference. OKC is currently 12-2 and already holding a 3-game lead in the conference. The Los Angeles Lakers, Portland Trail Blazers and San Antonio Spurs also received votes. The defending champion Dallas Mavericks,  who started the season slowly, did not receive a single vote.

The survey's selection for Division winners tended to favor established, veteran teams. In the East, Miami, Chicago and the Boston Celtics, currently toiling at 4-8, were picked. In the West, Oklahoma City, the San Antonio Spurs and the Los Angeles Lakers were the picks.

Voters selected Thunder forward Kevin Durant over Heat forward LeBron James as the guess for league MVP. Durant is currently averaging 26.0 points, 6.8 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 1.0 steal, and 1.1 blocks in 35.9 minutes per game. James is averaging 29.5 points, 8.2 rebounds, 7.4 assists, 2.0 steals, and 0.7 blocks in 37.5 minutes per game. Los Angeles Lakers All-Star guard Kobe Bryant, who is leading the NBA with 30.8 points per game, did not receive a single vote.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com