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Finally! LeBron is the Don

Posted in New Posts, News on June 22nd, 2012 by Troy Miles

LeBron James is a NBA Champion–finally! In perhaps the most entertaining Finals/playoffs in many years, he was the star of stars, beast of beasts. He is the best basketball player in the world and quite possibly the most valuable teammate in any sport.

The manner in which he weaves  cohesiveness  with his group conjures the maestro magnificence of Magic Johnson. While comparisons to the other MJ are inevitable, LeBron  is unique in his own basketball right. He has ascended the NBA mountain top and taken his place in rarefied air. Now Miami Heat fans can exhale and blaze into the summer as a championship city.

LeBron is the undisputed King (for now).  He has vanquished his opponents and silenced his critics. At the ripe young age of twenty-seven he has claimed  basketball’s ultimate crown, AND will watch as they raise a championship banner bearing his DNA.  I guess the question is, where can he or the Heat go from here?

I’ve said this before, “LeBron James is the best player we’ve ever seen …with so much room to grow.”  He’s already scary, ridiculous or whatever other adjective one chooses to describe greatness.   BUT, like all mortal ballers, they’re are things he could improve “virtually” that might make him down right illegal.

Virtual evaluation is based on the 100th percentile  of function and designated as PTAG  –Physical, Technical, Application [of skill set] and Grit development.  With that in mind, let’s find out how LeBron could possibly add even more to his robust repertoire of skill sets.  (Related: “Evaluation Fixation”– The Virtual Game of Basketball)

Physically he could improve his “embouchure” (a musical term, but in this case used to describe the connection of the feet to the court.  (Related: ” Every Step You Take”)  (Blog) In LeBron’s case it’s not a matter of improving his athleticism-which will happen, but for him more about solid “Structure” to help safeguard him against injury.  (Related: “We Can Build You”–Chapter 3)

The chapter also delves into the understandings of “bodywork”, which by  virtual definition is the use of the body as an offensive weapon.  LeBron’s already a physical “freak” and displayed much improved bodywork  during the Finals. Yet purposeful understanding of a few laws of physics would aid and abet his physical application tremendously.  With the way he attacks the basket OMG, it would be… okay (let’s not think about it right now).  Man! LeBron would be blacklisted to the NFL.  Well, that’s the only league -outside of UFC, that would have him.  The good news is any player, any level can improve physical performance with the information in the chapter–regardless of size, make or model.

Speaking of assaults to the basket, “line drive”  maneuvers (chapter 10) and solid bodywork are essential elements for consistent success on final approach.  LeBron could very easily add a “James Harden” piece to his play.  The way Harden, Ginnobli, Parker, Rondo attack the cup is what line drive maneuvers is all about.  If you were wondering, Westbrook’s approach is more of a physically superior style, but he does do a fabulous job of sucking up the air space en route– it’s in the chapter too.

One of the most important areas for LeBron to improve is his understanding of the 5 spots on the path to the basket from scoring position.  In Virtual Play this is known as “Lane Play”–chapter 9 .  Most modern (American) players are jump shot or all the way to the basketball (only) players.  Well, there are times when that’s enough. However, a  middle-spot pull-up; slightly beyond that area for floaters,  or even deceptive reverse lay-in ploys would add wonders to anyone’s offensive game. For James–maybe you to, this would equate to even  greater defender doom.

Everyone understands the need to continuously improve shooting prowess. Everyone seems to like to go out and shoot too. But just getting shots up may not be the answer (for you).  Getting shots up is only beneficial if you are using sound technique in your shooting delivery.  Otherwise you’re just getting better at being worse than you should/could be. The “6 F’s of shooting” (chapter 5) addresses being machine-like efficiency with your mechanics.  With these tools, getting shots up will = getting percentages up (proficiency), which is what all the work should be  about.

After last season’s disappointing loss to Dallas in the Finals, it was clear LeBron needed to improve his post presence.   Although not done in  the traditional “post-up” manner, he got so many scoring opportunities close to the basket that taking outside shots  (especially during the Finals) was the unnecessary equivalent of paying $100 for a stick of gum inside a penny candy factory. However, “A Dose of My Post”  (Blog) is a quick guide to back-to-the-basket improvement and superior post play.

LeBron might also may be the best defender in the NBA. No surprise. He does a wonderful job of “Lane Patrol” (chapter 14),  and obviously takes his man to S.C.H.O.O.L on D: He sizes him up,  seeks to control him, hawks and harasses, obeys defensive principles, and organizes a defensive strategy–because he obviously locks people up.

I Would like to see him do a better job of harassing opponents–especially with his hand-above-the-ball when his man is in shooting range and strategic touches.  The former is crucial in deterring shot attempts and the latter will help you keep people in front of you without fouling.

As a group, Miami’s “gap management” –in protection of the queen (basket),  (Chapter 13) was awesome-at times and supremely necessary in trying to deal with the penetration of Westbrook, Harden, and Durant.  It was a treat for me to watch their defensive execution; OKC did a good job of that as well. Unfortunately (for them), LeBron –as one of the game’s top PG’s (no lol), was able to penetrate quite enough to free open spotters -if not finish himself.  Sorry OKC, what could you do?  BUT at least LeBron IS the rightful heir to the throne…?

The prospects for another run is well within  Miami’s realm.  If LeBron gets better, so will the Heat. If the Heat get better… might as well raise their ’13 banner at the ’12 ceremony.

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