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LeBron’s low-post game was crucial addition
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On June 22, 2012 @ 4:00 am In All,Wirenews | Comments Disabled
While there will be plenty of inspection of what changed for LeBron James this season, both off the court and on the court, one undeniable element of the “new” LeBron is an offensive game that has taken him to a nearly unstoppable place: the low post.
Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said it simply was a case of James taking a needed step on an undersized roster.
It was on display throughout the NBA Finals, and particularly in Thursday’s clincher.
“He knew that we would need a bigger post presence from him, and he’s been able to provide that,” Spoelstra said after the Heat closed out the Oklahoma City Thunder and the franchise’s second championship with a 121-106 victory at AmericanAirlines Arena. “The more we play inside out, the more we’re able to attack the paint, the more dangerous we are as a team.”
That proved to be especially on point during the Finals.
Teammate Dwyane Wade said the move into the post by James was all the more impressive because of the work, and commitment, it required.
“If there’s something that doesn’t come as natural as his ability to take people off the dribble, let’s say, it’s a lot of work you’ve got to put in,” Wade said. “No one is afraid of the work, but you’ve got to go through the trials and tribulations of it, and he’s done that.
“I think the biggest thing for him in the post is now he’s became that same playmaker that he was on the perimeter. Now he’s become that in the post as well as a dominant force. He’s only going to continue to get better.”
And because it’s James, Wade said perfection remained the goal throughout the season.
“This is really the first year that he’s really, really got down there, and he’s made a huge improvement in one season,” Wade said. “You can say it’s a lot of different things and reasons why, but the biggest reason is that he wanted to, because he understands that he has an advantage there with his height, his ability to pass, also his ability to score over the top of guys.”
It was work in the offseason with former Houston Rockets center Hakeem Olajuwon that, to a degree, served as the takeout point.
“I’ve talked to him three times since the postseason started,” James said. “He asked me if I’ve been watching the film. He tells me to continue to do what I’ve been doing and continue … staying in the post will get you easy buckets, and he also tells me to continue to have fun.
“That’s the thing he noticed with me this year. He’s seen me have a lot of fun, and I give a lot of thanks to him for allowing me to go down there and work with him for that week, and instill a part of my game that I felt like needed to be worked.”
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