Author Topic: A Theory on Why I Struggle To Enjoy Watching LeBron  (Read 1777 times)

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Re: A Theory on Why I Struggle To Enjoy Watching LeBron
« Reply #60 on: May 09, 2018, 04:22:00 PM »

Offline PhoSita

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As for LeBron's challenges reaching the Finals, I won't pull the stats now because I did it in another thread a while back, but if you look at the last 6-8 years or so, most of the top 5-6 teams in SRS (Simple Rating Score -- based on schedule strength and point differential) have been in the West.

In any given season, LeBron has had to face 0-1 of the best teams in the league on his way to the Finals. 

Of course, the Raps were by the numbers one of the best teams this year, and he obliterated them.

So again, LeBron is the death of trying to reason your way through this stuff beyond "Which team has LeBron?"

Maybe this is more about the Raps being a confounding outlier as a team that underperforms its regular season each year.  The Hawks had a similar falling apart against the Cavs in 2015, though.
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Re: A Theory on Why I Struggle To Enjoy Watching LeBron
« Reply #61 on: May 09, 2018, 04:34:55 PM »

Offline celticsclay

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As for LeBron's challenges reaching the Finals, I won't pull the stats now because I did it in another thread a while back, but if you look at the last 6-8 years or so, most of the top 5-6 teams in SRS (Simple Rating Score -- based on schedule strength and point differential) have been in the West.[/b]

In any given season, LeBron has had to face 0-1 of the best teams in the league on his way to the Finals. 

Of course, the Raps were by the numbers one of the best teams this year, and he obliterated them.

So again, LeBron is the death of trying to reason your way through this stuff beyond "Which team has LeBron?"

Maybe this is more about the Raps being a confounding outlier as a team that underperforms its regular season each year.  The Hawks had a similar falling apart against the Cavs in 2015, though.

I remember that post. You did a good job with it. I don't really understand people that try to argue the east has not been a cakewalk for sometime. A site like 538, which officially has no anti or pro lebron bias, pointed out last year that something like 17 of the top 20 players by advanced metrics resided in the west. This isn't really even something that can be argued. I don't get why Lebron fans even bother.

Re: A Theory on Why I Struggle To Enjoy Watching LeBron
« Reply #62 on: May 09, 2018, 04:39:27 PM »

Offline droopdog7

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Still, I don't think that's it.  I enjoy plenty of superstars that hold the ball a lot and don't empower their teammates to do things.  Not every superstar can be Al Horford or Steve Nash.


I was thinking about this in the wake of the Raptors getting smoked -- again -- by the Cavs, and I realized something that feels close to the heart of it:

LeBron makes being a serious basketball fan feel like a waste of time, at least when it comes to understanding the playoffs. 


What's the point of knowing things about roster construction, cap space, threes versus twos, coaching strategies, ideal bench lineups, and so on ... when LeBron cuts through all of that and makes it very simple: Which team has LeBron?

The Raptors won close to 60 games this year.  They had the point differential to match that win total.  On paper they were clearly the best team in the East.  They should have beaten the Cavs in 5, on paper.

Not just on paper, either.  You could have looked at the tape and talked about the bevy of useful players on the Raptors.  You could have talked about how they changed their offense to be more versatile and efficient.  You could have talked about the intangibles of a core group of players that had played together a while, with a coach who had seen plenty in the playoffs and learned many tough lessons.

But the casual fan who never watches NBA basketball except in late April and May could have tuned in to see the score of any of the Cavs games against the Raptors and done just as good as job as you or I explaining what was happening:

LeBron.


Two years ago, the Warriors won 73 games and were the triumph of threes over twos, of building through the draft, of creative lineups.  Any "smart" basketball fan would have said, no way can they lose to the Cavs, even with a Draymond suspension and a Curry injury.

LeBron flew in like a block on a layup in transition and smacked away any notion of the superiority of "smart" fans -- he was the only thing that mattered. 

And you know, I don't like feeling that following the sport, paying attention to the regular season, listening to podcasts, and so on, that all of that doesn't matter at all when it comes to understanding what happens in the games that are most important.

I imagine if I'd been old enough to be a serious fan during the 90s I would've felt similarly about Jordan.

So bottom line, I think it's a vanity thing, an ego thing.  It feels good to feel like investing time to understand the nerdy stuff of basketball helps to appreciate what happens in the most important games.  It doesn't feel good to think that this sport in which I invest so much time and energy really can be as simple as who has LeBron on their team.  Then it feels kind of frivolous and silly.


What do you think?  Anybody identify with what I'm saying here?
Okay, so he's so good that nothing else matters.  So what's the difference between that and what I said already...you don't like him because he's good?

And this is a serious question.  None of this, I guess I don't get it crap.  If I'm wrong, explain it and I will gladly accept.

Re: A Theory on Why I Struggle To Enjoy Watching LeBron
« Reply #63 on: May 09, 2018, 04:41:01 PM »

Offline kozlodoev

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What's the point of knowing things about roster construction, cap space, threes versus twos, coaching strategies, ideal bench lineups, and so on ... when LeBron cuts through all of that and makes it very simple: Which team has LeBron?

The Raptors won close to 60 games this year.  They had the point differential to match that win total.  On paper they were clearly the best team in the East.  They should have beaten the Cavs in 5, on paper.

Not just on paper, either.  You could have looked at the tape and talked about the bevy of useful players on the Raptors.  You could have talked about how they changed their offense to be more versatile and efficient.  You could have talked about the intangibles of a core group of players that had played together a while, with a coach who had seen plenty in the playoffs and learned many tough lessons.
The Raptors will neither be the first nor the last team that dominated the regular season and folded in the playoffs. Call it not having a second gear, peaking too early, shirking from the big moment, or whatever. I'm not sure LeBron has anything to do with this.
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Re: A Theory on Why I Struggle To Enjoy Watching LeBron
« Reply #64 on: May 13, 2018, 05:45:22 PM »

Offline Roy H.

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I sort of get what Pho is saying.

Watching Game 1, the Celtics play basketball at a much more skilled and refined level. Better defense, better passing, better coaching. They hustle, they play smarter.

And yet, even after this blowout, the Cavs are at least a 50/50 shot to win this series, because Lebron.


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Re: A Theory on Why I Struggle To Enjoy Watching LeBron
« Reply #65 on: May 13, 2018, 06:14:39 PM »

Online tarheelsxxiii

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You can intellectualize a lot of valid reasons for disliking LeBron -- he stagnates offensive movement, whines for/benefits from calls, it appears no other team is 'good enough' to stop him.  But a normal and adaptive response would be to develop a strong dislike for your perennial rival.
It explains your perceptions of LeBron and CLE, and probably interacts with  and heightens them.  That's what fandom's all about. 
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Re: A Theory on Why I Struggle To Enjoy Watching LeBron
« Reply #66 on: May 17, 2018, 09:12:13 AM »

Offline Ed Hollison

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This explains a lot.

https://www.theringer.com/nba/2018/5/17/17362892/lebron-james-cleveland-cavaliers-technical-free-throws

Quote
There’s only one scenario in which LeBron James hustling can go wrong: it’s when he’s dashing to the free throw line. Take the opening game of the Eastern Conference finals between Cleveland and Boston this past weekend. In the third quarter, Boston’s Al Horford committed a three-second violation. It took half that time for LeBron to realize a technical foul had been called, and there he was: power-walking to the free throw line before Mike Breen could get the call out.

James’s teammate Kyle Korver had also moved toward the stripe, which makes sense since Korver, at 88.9 percent from the line this season, is the team’s best free throw shooter. But there was LeBron stepping in front of him with his back turned. The team awarded the shot gets to decide who takes said shot, and because logic is logic, the most accurate free throw shooter on the floor typically gets the ball. But there was no conversation between LeBron and Korver. There was no pleading by the Cavs sharpshooter, no objection from the coaching staff, despite it being a playoff game, and despite Cleveland being down 23 points. There was only LeBron, waiting for the ball. Right fist up, blow. Left fist up, blow.

“It’s just one of those unspoken things that LeBron steps to the line,” says ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, who has been covering James his entire career. “Now I’m not saying that over the course of time, there weren’t moments when it was brought up within the coaching staff. The Cavs, like many teams, employ an entire analytics staff.”

...

There are 15 seasons of evidence that point to it not being Lue’s choice at all. Throughout his career, LeBron has regularly volunteered to take technical free throws. (“Volunteer” being a loose term.) His rookie year under Paul Silas, an 18-year-old LeBron took nearly a third of Cleveland’s drawn techs. He ranked 10th on the team in free throw percentage. (To this day, he’s never finished any higher than sixth.) After four seasons in the league, James had taken 41.9 percent of the Cavalier’s technical free throws and shot them at a 65.8 percent rate.

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Re: A Theory on Why I Struggle To Enjoy Watching LeBron
« Reply #67 on: May 17, 2018, 09:23:02 AM »

Offline Fafnir

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My theory on why I struggle to enjoy LBJ, he's eliminated the C's in the playoffs 5 times in the past 10 years!

Re: A Theory on Why I Struggle To Enjoy Watching LeBron
« Reply #68 on: May 17, 2018, 09:45:16 AM »

Offline fairweatherfan

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LeBron makes being a serious basketball fan feel like a waste of time, at least when it comes to understanding the playoffs. 


What do you think?  Anybody identify with what I'm saying here?

I cut a bunch of stuff out here, but I definitely identify because I feel similarly about the post-Durant Warriors. That feeling of inevitability is sour, and I think would still be a tiny bit even if I rooted for them.

However, the saving grace is that almost nobody gets to be Bill Russell anymore. Everyone gets taken down sometimes (even Russell), and usually one last time that marks their departure from relevance.

Someone in the East will get LeBron - really hopeful it'll be us.  Somebody in the league will get Golden State - probably not this year though.  Both will feel more momentous precisely because of that feeling of inevitability.  And history suggests they more often than not come earlier than expected.

Re: A Theory on Why I Struggle To Enjoy Watching LeBron
« Reply #69 on: May 17, 2018, 09:50:11 AM »

Online triboy16f

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Lebron gives terrible effort on both ends when not engaged

especially on defense

Brown open shots, Rozier open shots.....this was on Lebron was game

Not consistently engaged and aging..... I say he has 2 more years left before things go downhill

Its inevitable. It Happens