9

LeBron Did the Right Thing

I really wish people would make up their mind. When I say people, I mean media. LeBron is getting killed for dishing the rock on that final play last night. But the same people saying he should have forced a shot in traffic instead of hitting the open man are perhaps the same people who are saying selfishness is killing basketball.
Which one is it? Should stars dominate the rock? Or should they play team ball?
You see the same thing with Kobe. When he jacks up shots, he’s a selfish ball hog. When he passes the rock, get his teammates involved, he’s being too passive, tanking the games.
Remember when Jordan was dogged for being a ball hog when he was younger. It wasn’t until he became more of a team player that he became really great.
LeBron is still young and already he sees the value of team ball. He should be celebrated, not faulted. How many young stars feel the need to take the winning shot, sans the open man in the corner? How many young stars would take the difficult shot instead of making the extra pass because they crave the title of clutch?
LeBron gets it. He understands his weakness, and the strengths of his teammates. On the road, you go for the win. At home, you go for overtime. That’s a unwritten rule in sports. The Cavs were going for the win, but LeBron knows he’s not the best 3-point shooter. What does he do? He creates a wide open look for a better 3-point shooter. Sounds like the smart play to me. If Donyell Marshall makes a gimmie of a 3-pointer, everyone else would think so, too.

Marcus Thompson

  • T-Bone

    Marcus,

    I couldn’t agree more. If that shot did fall people would be praising what a genious Lebron is. He sees the court much like a Steve Nash does and should be credited for having confidence is his teammates. With that said I’d like to see Lebron show a little more agressiveness early on in Game 2 and get to the stripe so he can set the tone for the game. The Cav’s should of stolen game 1 from a championship team and it’s unfair to blame Lebron for the loss.

  • EJ

    LBJ did do the right thing. Can you imagine if Paxson missed the shot that clinched the Finals for the Bulls? Jordan would’ve taken so much heat for it. Not the same magnitude, but if Marshall hits the shot it’s “WHAT A GREAT PLAY BY LEBRON!!”. Guys like him and Kobe can’t win with the media. But other guys who get tons of help (Wade and Duncan) get praised to no end. I’m with you, Marcus. Not fair. Not fair.

  • manhattanproj

    well i guess you have to look at it in more than just the last play. he’s getting dogged because he plays alot like KG. good/great for 3 quarters then disappear in the 4th. it happens more than once, in the regular season, in the playoffs. if you want to be great, you can’t disappear like he did in the 4th. you have to put your team on your shoulder in the closing minutes and lebron hasnt been able to do that despite of his athleticism and strength. the last play just sums up what a player lebron is – he’s just not clutch. maybe for now, ,maybe for the rest of his career. who knows? great player wants the last shot. look at chancey who’s about as clutch of a player in the nba today as anyone. he takes over in the 4th quarter. it doesnt matter if he was 0 for 50, in the 4th, he makes big shots after big shots.

    i dont fault lebron for passing the last shot. but you have to be more of a force in the 4th than he has been, considering the cavs is his team. even if you have to force the issue, take it to the hole and go to the foul line.

    i just dont think he has the killer instinct that jordan and kobe have. maybe he’s still young. i think that’s why he’s getting dogged.

  • commish

    I was listening to “In the Paint” on Siris radio today and three NBA players, two of them Hall of Famers (the other was our own M. Pietris) said LeBron had to take the shot, while also saying passing it out, like he did, was something a player should do in the second or third quarter; but not with the game on the line. The only dissent came from Rick Carlise, and we know his current status in the NBA.

    So it makes you wonder if they know somethings we don’t.

  • bigkat

    The good play is the one that gives your team the best chance of winning the game, not necessarily the one with the best chance of going in.

    I figure Marshall has maybe a 50% chance of making that wide open shot. The Pistons get the ball back, with a few seconds left so give them say 15% chance of making a shot. That leaves 42.5% chance to win, 57.5% chance to lose.

    For Lebron, I’ll give him 80% chance that he makes the layup.
    The Pistons would get the ball back, so give them the same 15% chance to score.
    If they don’t make the shot and it goes to OT, then you would think that the Pistons would have the advantage because they’re playing at home. So say 60% chance of winning OT for the Pistons.
    So if Lebron takes the layup, that’s 27% chance of winning, 73% chance of losing.

    If you don’t agree with the percentages, then change them as you see fit, but you should still use the same method, or something similar to figure out if it was a good decision or not.

  • commish

    I don’t remember all my stat classes but I do know that bigkat’s analysis is not correct. Too many other intervening variables and the odds are not cumulatively added together because his examples are independent events. But the way he presented his argument makes me wonder if he is a saleman or lawyer (as opposed to a statistician). LOL of course.

  • bigkat

    Ok commish, I haven’t done stats in a loooong time, so I figure the best way for me to come up with the answer is to run a computer simulation. Which I did!

    Using the following percentages:

    Chance of LeBron making the layup = 80%
    Chance of Marshall making the shot = 50%
    Chance of the Pistons making the last shot with 5 seconds left = 15%
    Chance of Cavs winning in OT = 40%

    and the following algorithms

    Lebron Passes:
    If Marshall makes the shot then
    If The Pistons make the last shot then
    Pistons Win
    Else
    Cavs Win
    End if
    Else
    Pistons win
    End If

    LeBron takes the layup
    If LeBron makes the layup then
    If The Pistons Make the Last shot then
    Pistons Win
    Else
    If The Cavs Win in OT then
    Cavs win
    Else
    Pistons win
    End if
    End if
    Else
    Pistons Win
    End if

    I ran each one through 1 million times and got the following results:

    LeBron passes
    Pistons win 575034 times
    Cavs win 424967 times

    LeBron takes the layup:
    Pistons win 728383 times
    Cavs win 271618 times

    Now, I don’t know if the percentages are accurate. Maybe Donyell’s shot should be 45%, or maybe LeBron has a 90% chance of making the layup. But I think the math is right.

    Or maybe I am a salesman!

  • commish

    Well bigkat, you sold me.

  • T-Bone

    You were off by .00034568483% Otherwise, well done bigkat.

    =)