Turning Point for Knicks: Not getting Lebron James! Fortune smiles (LJ = LOSER)
FUN FACT FOLKS:
Lebron James has 11 offensive rebounds all year. 11 off. rebounds in 18 games. Danillo Gallinari has 21 offensive rebounds in 18 games. Landry Fields has 28 off. rebounds.
Amar'e has 40 off. rebounds (and he's averaging 8.6 total rebounds per game), while Bosh is averaging 7.3 total rebounds per game (and has only 25 off. rebounds in 18 games) .!.
I'm posting 2 great articles I read online today. All I can think about as I read these articles is that FINALLY.... once in the last decade.... I can be thankful for soemthing, when it comes to the NYK and having fortune smile upon this franchise.
THANK GOD we do not have to root for Lebron James! And another double-thanks that we don't have to root for Lebron James & Chris Bosh! Imagine that, and then having Maverick Carter? PLZ! I would prefer another 5 years enduring Eddy Curry injury news!
I'm loving Amar'e. Turiaf. Chandler and Gallo's growth. Felton (even though I got rough on him a while ago). And if we get Carmelo Anthony! YES!!!!!!!
It may have taken a decade.... But I think when we look back, we will pinpoint last summer.... when we were lucky enough to lose the LJ sweepstakes.... That will be the moment we highlight as the turning point, when everything started to go right for our beloved Knicks!
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King James wants Spoelstra to bow to him
Erik Spoelstra reached out to Mike Brown over the summer and searched for insight into both basketball’s blessing and curse: Coaching the two-time MVP [Only registered and activated users can see links. ].
Over and over, Brown uprooted his offensive system to appease James only to have it never work. Brown praised James’ character publicly when he would’ve preferred to have been truthful about James’ narcissism. James defied Brown in public and private, disregarded his play calls to freelance his offense, and belittled him without consequence within the [Only registered and activated users can see links. ].
Meticulous in his preparation, Spoelstra spoke with several past coaches, and league sources said a clear and unequivocal picture appeared on how to proceed: End the cycle of enabling with James and hold him accountable.
And surprise, surprise: LeBron James has responded with a test of his own organizational strength, pushing to see how far the Heat will bend to his will. This season, James is hearing a word seldom uttered to him in Cleveland:
“No.” And it keeps coming out of the coach’s mouth, keeps getting between the King and what he wants.
Can I stay overnight to party in New Orleans after a preseason game?
Can I play the clown in practice?
Can I get out of playing point guard?
No. No. No.
Even within a month of the season’s sideways 9-8 start, the NBA witnessed a predictable play out of the James-Maverick Carter playbook on Monday
morning. They [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] as jokers of the highest order. They care so little about anyone but themselves. Still, no one’s surprised that they’d stoop so low, so fast into this supposed historic 73-victory season and NBA Finals sweep of the [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]. They want Spoelstra – and Pat Riley – to bend to them, to bow to the King the way everyone has before them.
Nevertheless, here’s what was surprising – even troubling – when the Heat talked on Monday before a victory over the [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]: In the blink of an eye, [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] signed up with Team LeBron to scapegoat and sell out Spoelstra.
“I’m not going to say he’s ‘my guy,’ but he’s my coach,” Wade said.
Wade’s always been loyal, and that’s why it was so surprising to witness him bail this fast on Spoelstra, whom Wade knows too well. Spoelstra is a good NBA coach. Everyone knows that Wade isn’t a star who plays hard all the time, knows that he takes plays off on defense. They know that Spoelstra did a terrific job coaching 90 victories out of that flawed Miami roster the previous two seasons.
As much as ever, the Heat need Wade to influence James. Only now, it’s clear James is influencing Wade. With [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] out for the regular season, the locker room misses one of its vital voices. Now, Wade is struggling on the floor and James is the devil on his shoulder, whispering that he doesn’t need to be accountable, that there’s an easy fall guy for everyone: Spoelstra.
Those who know Wade well, who care about him, were disappointed Monday. When Spoelstra needed Wade to stand up for him, Wade never shrunk so small. Spoelstra was Wade’s guy, but Wade’s finding it much easier to align himself with James’ coward act than do the right thing. This was something that you’d expect out of [Only registered and activated users can see links. ], who’s never been a leader, never a winner, but Wade?
“He knows better than this,” one of Wade’s former assistant coaches said. “I’m not saying he hasn’t changed some, but he knows right from wrong. And this is wrong.”
The fundamental problem for Spoelstra isn’t that James doesn’t respect coaches – he doesn’t respect people. Give LeBron this, though: He’s learned to live one way with the television light on, and another with it off. He treats everyone like a servant, because that’s what the system taught him as a teenage prodigy. To James, the coach isn’t there to mold him into the team dynamic. He’s there to serve him.
Wade was one of the Team USA players who’d watch incredulously as James would throw a bowl of fries back at a renowned chef and bark, “They’re cold!” Or throw his sweaty practice jersey across the court and command a team administrator to go pick it up. Everyone wants James to grow out of it, but he’s never showed much of an inclination for self-examination and improvement. And he’s never surrounded himself with people who’d push him to do so.
What’s more, the timing of this leak was no accident, because James and his business manager had to like the idea of someone else going on trial this week. When the public wanted to talk about James’ return to Cleveland, about the callous way with which he left, about the disjointed start in Miami, they thrust everything onto Spoelstra.
Part of them believed they could deflect Hell Week at home in Ohio, and part of them probably believed they could indeed align the public with them against Spoelstra.
After all, the coach had it coming to him. Of this, LeBron James was sure. Spoelstra had the audacity to do something that Mike Brown never had ownership’s backing to do in Cleveland: To push James, call him out, coach him.
The funniest part had to be how they leaked the idea that Eric Spoelstra was panicking now, behaving like he feared for his job. Truth be told, he’s been behaving in the opposite way. Spoelstra isn’t running from LeBron, but running at him.
Someone’s scared here, but it isn’t the coach.
Adrian Wojnarowski is the NBA columnist for Yahoo! Sports.
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You could be sure that it wouldn't take long for <STRIKE>Maverick Carter</STRIKE> unnamed sources to lash back in LeBron James' defense, especially in the wake of the team's disappointing start, and the goofball [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] controversy.
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[Only registered and activated users can see links. ], <STRIKE>Carter</STRIKE> the source had this to say about Heat coach Erik Spoelstra's relationship with the team:
"He's jumping on them," one source said. "If anything, he's been too tough on them. Everybody knows LeBron is playful and likes to joke around, but Spoelstra told him in front of the whole team that he has to get more serious. The players couldn't believe it. They feel like Spoelstra's not letting them be themselves."
<STRIKE>Carter</STRIKE> The source went on to point out that Spoelstra singled James out during a recent shootaround, telling the Heat star that he couldn't "tell when you're serious."
Now, all this is being tossed out there to make Spoelstra look bad, as he struggles to right Miami's ship, but all this nonsense is doing is making Spoelstra look better. Of course James doesn't take these things as seriously as he should, not when he's setting up parties and appearances in clubs following road games, or taking whole possessions off to float around the perimeter. This sort of criticism, something he never got in Cleveland, is exactly what he needs.
Spoelstra doesn't need help in looking bad. Though the Heat are ranked highly offensively on sheer one-on-one talent alone, Spoelstra is still the guy calling for simplified 1/5 screen-and-rolls -- sometimes two on the same play once the first option doesn't work -- late in close games, coming out of a timeout.
Spoelstra is the guy who was handed three of the best offensive players at their respective positions (statistically last season), and watched as each has regressed significantly within his obvious offensive schemes.
And Spoelstra looks even worse while trying to laugh off BumpGate as something typical, as he did Monday morning:
Spoelstra said he "didn't even notice" the bump until it was mentioned after the game.
"Coming out of the timeout, it's a pinball game. I'm colliding into a lot of people. So it's probably a perfect case of overspeculation from this team," he said Monday.
"I was fine with that timeout. The fact that guys are not happy about the play, tempers rose, you could see the fire and passion in people's eyes. That's the way it should be," he added. "None of us should be happy about what was going on in the third quarter and taking it in stride."
Come on, Erik.
It's fair to say that I've watched a lot of NBA basketball through the years, and have seen my fair share of angry teams skulking back to the bench after a timeout. I never -- NEVER -- see that sort of bump from a player to coach. Is it wrong to get up in arms about it? Sure. Let's not go crazy because a coddled, churlish athlete acted the part. But let's also not pretend that this is a typical or even infrequent occurrence.
Spoelstra is not doing his job when it comes to getting the most out of the players that he's been put in charge of. But he is right to call out Miami's Big Three, each of whom have been the biggest underachievers on this team. Not the point guards, not the big men, and not the coaching staff.
If LeBron doesn't have to dominate the ball offensively, then he needs to go nuts defensively and on the glass. If [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] isn't confident in his shot, or if he should be shooting a particular shot as opposed to James, then he needs to find a way to get to the line, as has long been his custom. And if [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] doesn't even sniff the ball during a play, then he needs to crash the offensive glass, and earn his team extra possessions. None of them are giving extra, when it's obvious that the team is at nearly .500 just because the Big Three are taking turns giving what they gave while all alone in Miami, Toronto and Cleveland. And winning basketball doesn't work this way.
So <STRIKE>Maverick Carter</STRIKE> Chris Broussard's sources can gripe all they want about Spoelstra taking his frustrations out on the superstars, but he's right to question their commitment. There's no reason James should have just two double-figure rebound games, so far. There's no reason Wade should be playing the sort of defense he's playing, and there's no reason Chris Bosh's rebound percentage should have dropped to a mark below the percent he came through with as a 19-year-old rookie.
Keep snivelin', sources. You're going to make a martyr out of Spoelstra yet.