What can Lebron improve on for next season?
People say he needs a midrange jumpshot, but when you look at his numbers he's one of the best mid range shooters in the league and has improved every year
They say he needs a post game, but according to synergy he was 17th in the league in post up situations ahead of Kobe
As much as people say Lebron relies on athleticism he's actually pretty skilled so what can he truly improve next year? I personally think he needs to go to the post more and trust it because its not bad and even though his jumper is good he's alot more dangerous when he drives. He also, I think, could lose 5-10 lbs just so he could be as light on his feet as he was in his early years. Interesting look at gamewinners Kobe vs Lebron in playoffs closer than I thought:
Lebron need to work on his post game, go to moves, and long range jumper. Im stifled that everyone considers this guy on of the greatest all-time when he has so many flaws to his game. Yes he is big and strong and fast, and a good passer, but he still has work to do. He may need to work on his attitude as well.
He needs to work on not bricking. just kidding. he needs a post game and he needs to work on his confidence. In the 4th quarter he seems to hide and doesn't take it to the rim. He is unstoppable at the rim but he never takes it in and shoots too many jumpers. He still needs to work on jumpers too so its kind of stupid that he would actually do something harder for him when he gets nervous. He could work on his offensive rebounding you rarely ever see him get those.
Posting and posting at a level he's capable aren't the same thing. A long-range game would be stellar, far moreso than improving on the mid-range game, especially since he insists on hoisting threes. He needs a turnaround or baby hook. He gets in the post and immediately looks to spin, which is nice and gets him to the line and all, but we saw it's downfalls against the Mavs. He's so strong, especially compared to those teams have to cover him with due to his speed, a simple turnaround or hook would be unguardable.
Judging by the eye test, LeBron doesn't have much of a post game. With his size, he should be dominating in the post and a true mismatch problem. Two big for wings, two quick for power forwards. Watching him vs the Celtics last season, he couldn't take advantage of Tony Allen in the post. Watching him this season, he couldn't take advantage of Stevenson, Kidd or even Barea in post up situations. He definitely needs to work on a post game. He needs at least two or three GO TO moves down there instead of just trying to power through people. He also needs to work on his FOOTWORK down there. His footwork is poor. He needs to be comfortable operating in the low, mid or high post.
LeBron is a great driver, but he really lacks a go-to move... Or a sweet spot. Most great players have sweet spots and moves that they go to. Dirk has them. Pierce has them. Kobe has them. LeBron has none. He needs an area of the floor or shot/move he goes to consistently when games get close and he needs easy baskets. Everything is hard fought for LeBron.
Free-throws. He needs to keep improving there... Especially free-throws down the stretch.
Playing WITHOUT THE BALL... Everything with LeBron is off of the dribble. That's amazing for his overall numbers, but it makes the offense stagnant and honestly makes him a lot easier to defend. He needs to work on moving without the ball. It make him harder to defend, plus give his teammates more opportunities to have the ball in their hands as well.
Mid-Range game. He's improved this over the years, but it still isn't as consistent as it needs to be. He needs to get so comfortable pulling up from mid-range that he doesn't think when he does it. In the finals, he was either a three or drive to the basket. That doesn't always work as we saw.
Jump-Shot. He's still an average shooter in my opinion. He's streaky. He needs to keep improving there.
His low post foot work could definitely be improved. As much as statistics always seem to say otherwise, what we see when we watch LeBron are a few things that definitely could be made exponentially better. Statistics seem to say he does well in the clutch, some have even said he is better than Kobe in such situations. Well, in the biggest of big games, we have seen Kobe step up and hit clutch shots and carry his team, other than Game 5 against Detroit in 2007 and Game 2 versus Orlando in 2008, these instances from LeBron are few and far between. He did well against Chicago and Boston in crunch time, often helping build big leads, but when the game was truly on the line, he chooses to pass it off rather than take the shot. He tries to make the smart basketball play, but, in essence, the smartest play would be the most unstoppable force in basketball taking the shot.
The criticism of LeBron's jump shot early on was that he would sometimes fade away or go backwards rather than going straight up or forwards. Well, he has improved that greatly, but I still see no reason that in post situations, he develops a fade away jump shot a la Michael Jordan. That was Michael's go to weapon when he came back after his first retirement, and what many people think of when they think of Michael Jordan posting up. While LeBron's post up percentage may be high by NBA standards, I see no reason that he should not be shooting for the top 5 in said statistic rather than 17th. With his size, speed and athleticism, he could destroy smaller players, he has already been doing so too some extent. He needs to smooth the edges and really make it work.
His midrange shot is not as terrible as many say, but even so, he was incredibly hesitant to use it against Dallas, and much too willing too pass the rock. Steve Kerr just compared him to Scottie Pippen, and I do not think it is an insult, but it should be used as motivation and a call to arms. LeBron James is the most dangerous scorer when he has his entire arsenal handy. He may not have as many ways to score as players like Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Dirk Nowitzki, Carmelo Anthony, possibly even Dwyane Wade, but there is a reason he won scoring titles and was the Heats leading scorer through pretty much the entire year, right up until the Finals in the play-offs. He is the most dangerous transition player in the league, and the best finisher at the basket. He is still an incredible force doing that, and his passive finals completely belied that ability.
It really was sad that we only saw one game under 30% shooting for LeBron (that horrible 8 point Game 4), and at the same time it was due to him failing in the post game and settling for mid range jump shots, many out of rhythym. He should have gone out shooting, he did not have a single game over 20 shots, and the fact that he had 4 games with 4 FT attempts and 2 games with 2, well, that was all on him. The referrees, despite what Tim Donaghy said, were not giving LeBron phantom calls, but I was more relieved about that if anything. It completely meant that LeBron had to take initiative and get himself to the foul line, and try to attack the basket, which he failed to do completely. At the start of Game 6, when he scored those quick 9 points, I thought to myself that he was finally on the attack, and just had to keep doing so. Instead, he went back to what he was doing before, with the extreme passivity, horrible jump passes and standing in the corner. I would have rather seen 6 more missed shots in that game than some of those jump passes LeBron made to players who may have been open, but were usually so startled that they did nothing positive with their opportunity. It was pretty much like they were surprised that LeBron was not firing at will, which he should have been doing.
He finished 9-15 in Game 6, great shooting percentage, but pathetic amount of shots. Dwyane Wade shot 6-16, but in no way did he have a worse game. They both turned it over around the same amount of times, both did some sloppy things, but Wade was on the attack, he was playing with urgency and getting to the line. This is why Dwyane Wade does not deserve as much blame for any of the games in this series as LeBron does. This entire series he was below average, and some minor refinements in his game and mental attitude are needed for them to succeed.
They say you can not gain killer instinct over time, but I think that is garbage. For some, it simply comes with maturity, ask Dirk Nowitzki. People used to complain about his passivity in many of the same situations LeBron faced this season. I think talks of the Heat not working are garbage, and possibly a way to get Jeff Van Gundy's brother the ability to coach LeBron James, who has had much more success in his career thus far than Dwight Howard, sorry to say. They can still work as a team, but they need to develop their own identity, and not Scottie Pippen and Michael Jordan's. This can be done, and as we saw this season, it came very close to being done. They got beaten by a better team, one that had a much better chemistry and moved the ball tremendously. One that knew how to run without the ball too open positions on the floor. If Miami did not at least get the chance to do that with the three players they signed last summer, it would be a crying shame. If it does not work next year, maybe you panic and go for a replacement. But, after one year, a year that should sting these guys and motivate them incredibly, I really want to see what they do with that motivation going into next season.
LOL, Right after I posted this I saw your post Indiana. Great minds think alike :) (Atleast on some things about LeBron)
Excellent point on moving without the ball. If he actually had the ball anywhere closer to the rim and moves from those spots...wow.
He's 17th in the league in post up efficiency which is really good didn't you see my links? He should go to the post more often, but to say he has no post game is a myth
Again - the difference between "no" and "elite" is what we're talking about here. Apples and Oranges.
Again - the difference between "no" and "elite" is what we're talking about here. Apples and Oranges.
Indianabasketball and MikeyV make really good points. The thing I don't get about Lebron is when you think he's turned the corner, he heads right back down to Earth, which is unfortunate. I know he works hard on his game you don't improve that much without a work ethic, but it may be a mental block.
Kobe isn't as clutch as you think so that doesn't show you much... Kobe is takes over the game with 5 minutes left... If you looked at their numbers in crunch time(final 5 minutes with score within 5) it wouldn't be close Kobe has been known to be clutch as he would take every shot in the final 5 minutes for his team basically and make key shots... and Jordan's stats would be way better than the both of them... Jordan is something like 9 of 18 on game winners in the playoffs.
I think it's funny that people are now noticing these things. I've been noticing them for years, but people called it nitpicking or hating. The man has holes in his game that have been covered up by the fact he's so big, fast, athletic and such an amazing player to watch.
He's not skilled. Think about what being skilled means... Kobe Bryant is skilled. Youtube him and just watch his feet in all of his videos. Watch the way he uses his pivots... LeBron damn near travels everytime. He can't keep his pivot down for nothing. LeBron tried to euro step in the Finals, and I thought he was going to sprain his ankle. In the post, he looks aukward... It's because his footwork isn't good.
LeBron is just a physical marvel once in a lifetime athlete... His best quality is his court vision and passing. Everything else is and always has been disappointing to me and I don't see the improvement in his game... This is year 8 and he's still doing the same things since he entered the league.
sorry double post
LeBron also was ranked among the top in clutch percentage the last few seasons (besides this one). After watching him vs Dallas, are you going to believe that too?
You, me, your cousin, aunt and uncle all know that statistics don't tell the full story. The good old eye test doesn't fail you.
Indianabasketball that's not fair to say he's just a physical marvel that ignores everything he's worked on. He is alot more confident in his jumpshot than he has been in years past, but obviously lost it against Dallas. His defense has improved every year and as bad as much as his post game can improve its improved immensly since he's got in the league it doesn't look good or is on the level it could be. His post game was more efficient than Kobe's this year
He was pretty clutch vs Boston and Chicago something that everyone has seemed to forgotten
Lebron can be clutch, and he can be a choker. It's rarely one or the other. The issue is with a lack of go-to moves, a smart enough coach and good enough defense can stop him. Did he torch Chicago? Sure, but largely on riduclous threes, against a defense that was designed to stop Wade, that he knew he'd be facing for 6 months and had time to counter-plan against. The idea of pet moves is that they are, essentially, unstoppable. A great first step, as Lebron and Rose both learned, and even Jordan eventually did, is not a go-to move.
Even at his old age, Kobe is the most clutch player in basketball.
He can get any shot he wants or get anyone any shot they want. Kobe doesn't just have to do it off of the dribble either. He can give it to Fisher and then run off of a couple of screens, catch and then one two dribble pull up. He can take you off the dribble too because he has the dribbling moves to break his defender down. He can get you in the low, mid or high post. He can shoot the three ball, mid-range or finish at the rim. Foul him and he won't miss in the clutch from the line.
Kobe is geting old, but I'd put the ball in his hands over any other player in the league right now. He's more than just a one dimensional player. He honestly has no weaknesses offensively skill wise. And we know he has killer instinct.
Kobe is not more clutch than Dirk at this point the numbers and eye test support that
If Kobe can get any shot he wants, why does he so often settle for contested 3s?
Old age is the only thing that's stopping Kobe right now.
I'm just talking about skill set wise. Kobe has had the offensive skill set and killer instinct to be a monster in the clutch. That doesn't mean every shot will go down. I'm just talking about skill set.
I feel comfortable having the ball in his hands due to his skill set.
I didn't give credit to LeBron's defense because I thought we were talking about his offense.
He's improved a lot at the defensive end. He's made the committment to being great there and is using his physical gifts at that end. He's hustling more at that end and gives the ultimate effort. I think he's done a great job not letting his offense affect the way he plays defense. Always a consistent effort. Great help, off ball and team defender.
What about his improved shooting and post game? Thats on the offensive side of the ball and he's actually improved immensely in both areas and probably continue to improve. I agree with you that he's flawed all players are, but I disagree with the premise that his athletic ability alone is what makes him the best player. He's added a little more to his game each and every year.
Tendencies, tendencies,...NBA 2k11 anybody( read before put the neg) , just curious, anyone has played my player on the Heat, its crazy that Wade, Lebron and Bosh all want to take the ball to the hoop, attack the rim at all costs, or set to the midrange jumpshot. This is not reality, its only a BKB simulator, but we all saw their reality melt in the finals, and when a team closes the gaps defensively and you cant attack the rim, refs wont be calling any foul, in the playoffs/finals, more contact is allowed, then you have to do something else, as many of you have said, better long range % and awareness, landing bricks form 3 isnt intelligent, and post play, some Akeem the Dream legend training footwork could help him, just getting to master some moves at Anthony level at least.
Heat got killed in halfcourt, so Lebron has spend some more points in the Post tendency, he has the strengh to push down the defender and athelticism to get perfect separation to get a good look in the high post.
I made and experiment with Heat in 2k11, i modified lebrom tendencies to 35% post play, added some low post skills and moves, and guess what, when james post up, it opens the way to Wade to drive, or bosh to execute the pick and roll or launch more uncontested midrange shots. The Heat changed, i know its only a game, but fans must try that, the heat suddenly became unstopable. I can visualize that in the real world, so wade and bron tendencies doesnt collide.
He's improved his jumpshot, but he's still streaky. The thing about LeBron too is that when he makes a couple, he just starts settling for them. That's Fool's Gold.
I thought LeBron would have his free-throw percentage at least in the low 80's right now. Wade is still a average free-throw shooter too, especially in the clutch.
Post game... Other than at least attempting to go down there now, I don't see the improvement. He's huge, so he's capable of bull rushing, but I just don't see the improvement in his low post go-to moves, foot work, etc. And I'd like to see him be able to go to work in the low, mid or high post. He's just not comfortable there though. Wade has made more of an improvement in the low post than LeBron has. Wade actually has a few go-to moves down there and has shown he can shoot the fadeway going away from the double team. I've even seen Wade split the double team from the post. Wade's footwork is not great, but very good.
LeBron just needs to improve the fundamentals of his game. It's obvious to see. IF LeBron had a complete game, I think he could've won a championship with that roster he had in Cleveland. Not saying he had the greatest teammates, but just saying LeBron could be THAT dominate and impossible to defend all over the floor.
Lebron does have post moves. He has a fadeaway that has improved as the season has gone along. He shows a nice drop step that does not look pretty, but is pretty effective. He also showed a nice step back move during the regular season that was working for him, but for some reason he abandoned it in the playoffs. He is also an excellent passer out of the low post as well. I actually think he needs to go to the post more and trust it considering he shot 54% from the post this past season. As bad as his post game "supposedly" is that's not bad at all with over 200 attempts.
It's a telling story that teams single cover LeBron in the low post. He hasn't shown he can hurt anybody from down there, so it's not worth doubling him.
He can get a turnaround jumper on the blocks like MJ had and Kobe has. Dirk is also doing this. Big guys like Hakeem have had this weapon. A step back fadeaway jumper from about 12-15 feet would be a great weapon too. Karl Malone had that shot as did Patrick Ewing. Dirk is getting a lot of points on fadeaway jumpers. Everyone knows Dirk is a great shooter from long range but he actually did most of his damage on mid-range jumpers, post moves, and spinning layups inside. LeBron might just be a guy like Josh Smith who really needs to stay away from long range jumpers. Tell LeBron, ok, you can take a couple of three pointers a game and maybe a heat-check 18 footer, but that's it. The rest of the time you are gonna be on the low blocks or making off-the-ball cuts to the basket. Plus some mid-range pick-and-pops and some dribble, drive, step-back 15 foot fadeaway. LeBron needs to think that he will get 10-12 points on post-ups every night along with 7 or 8 points (minimum) on free throws. That would put him close to 20 points a night and throw in some breakaway dunks, alley-oops, and power layups in traffic and he would get close to 30 points a night without taking outside jumpers.
If a guy is playing off LeBron 20 feet from the basket then LeBron needs to turn around and back his man down to his spot on the floor (while looking for open passing lanes and shooters spotting up) and get HIS shot.
I think starting Chalmers full time will help. He can handle the ball some and spot up and hit 3's. They can start him at point but still run a lot of offense through the wings. LeBron and Wade need to play like Jordan and Pippen where each one takes turns handling the ball and posting up. What they need to utilize is Bosh spotting up for jumpers so the Big Two can slash or post up and then kick it out to Bosh for mid-range shots if the lane gets too clogged up. Screen and rolls for LeBron and Bosh should be the team's bread and butter. Bosh is good for 18 and 8 a night, so the Big Two need to get around 55-60 a night to have a chance at winning.
... the Heat need the triangle offense I think. LeBron and Wade are great, all-around versatile players who need the ball but can also create for others. The triangle worked great for MJ/Pip as well as Kobe. Bosh can do a lot of things too. Chalmers would be pretty good in the triangle too. The best thing about the triangle would be how it would maximize role players with limited skills but solid fundamentals. The Heat can't really afford any other big name players so they will have to settle for solid role players.
Any chance that Phil Jackson coaches the Heat next year?