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Miami Makeover: Lebron In The Post?

December 18, 2011

The Miami Heat held an intra-squad scrimmage that drew unprecedented attention recently. No it wasn’t the 21 points of point guard Norris Cole, it was what the crowd witnessed on one particular possession. Lebron James backed down his defender and made a turn-around jumper on the baseline. The entire arena stood in amazement (okay, maybe that’s a bit much). But Seriously, as much of a beast that LBJ has been during his NBA career he has notoriously been reluctant to play in the post. Though often being guarded by smaller defenders to try and stop his dribble drive threat, he rarely ever has taken those smaller players into the post…the guy just doesn’t feel comfortable playing with his back to the basket. Well, that all appears to have changed.

Great basketball minds have been trying to get Lebron on the block for years: Jeff Van GundyMagic Johnson…Martin Knezevic. But it looks like Games 4-6 of the NBA Finals against the Dallas Mavericks did the trick. It was painful watching James being forced to play out on the perimeter by the frustrating zone defense of the Mavs. Tyson Chandler changed the entire series with his length and versatility. Lebron evidently has learned his lesson. He was the latest star to workout with Hakeem Olajuwon in the offseason, just as Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard before him. While putting James in the post will likely be a only subtle wrinkle in coach Eric Spoelstra‘s playbook, it could have enormous effects.

A lot of “experts” are predicting that, with small forward Shane Battier in the fold, that Lebron’s newly-found post game will allow the team to go small with him at the PF spot. I’m sorry, but doesn’t play the ’4′ mean he’ll be going up against bigger, stronger defenders? If anything, his dribble-drive would be utilized more in this lineup. No, I look for the Miami Heat to utilize a big lineup this season, with James joining Dywane Wade in the backcourt. They would take turns initiating the offense (as they already do) and be flanked by a frontline of Shane Battier, Udonis Haslem, and Chris Bosh. This will make the Heat team defense even better than last season’s (shockingly). They’ll be able to switch every position on the floor, making screens useless. With this versatility they can even trap at times and allow James and Wade to hit the break, where they’re at their best. It’s a scary thought for the likes of the Boston Celtics and Chicago Bulls, teams that lack the overall footspeed to handle Coach Spo’s crew.

Lebron James has found a new post game to go along with his not-so-old all around brilliance. It’ll be a weapon in more ways than one as the entire rotation of the Miami Heat will change. Look for lineups this season in Miami that’ll make Don Nelson want to come out of retirement.

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6 Responses to Miami Makeover: Lebron In The Post?

  1. Jake Morrow on December 24, 2011 at 6:17 pm

    Regardless of all the hype about Lebron’s new post game I am not a believer. He has to do it consistently over the course of a season to get results.

  2. Lenny F on December 25, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    Summer working w/ Hakeem the Dream! Lebron will b a nightmare!!

  3. Gerard T on December 26, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    LBJ is looking like an MVP again, dominating inside and out. lookout NBA

  4. Rock on December 28, 2011 at 4:18 pm

    LBJ is made for post play. No one in the league can handle him in there, not even centers. But will he stay with it all year?

  5. tyler on December 28, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    hes a fish outta water down there. looks like joel anthony :-O

  6. Strider on December 29, 2011 at 6:40 am

    James is now the most unstoppable player in the unvierse

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