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Kawshen
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#1 Posted on 28.3.04 2205.07
Reposted on: 28.3.11 2205.35
http://www.nba.com/ games/20040327/NJNCLE/ recap.html

CLEVELAND, March 27 (Ticker) -- In the Cleveland Cavaliers' most important win of the season, LeBron James had his biggest game of the season.

James had career highs of 41 points and 13 assists and took over down the stretch as the Cavaliers snapped a four-game losing streak with a stirring 107-104 victory over the New Jersey Nets. The win drew Cleveland even with Boston for the Eastern Conference's eighth and final playoff spot.

At 19 years, 87 days, James became the youngest player in NBA history to score 40 points in a game, surpassing Cliff Robinson, who was 19 years, 361 days) when he scored 45 for Detroit in 1980.

"I had to turn it to another gear," said James, who scored 16 points in the fourth quarter, including his team's last 10. "Tonight, playing point guard, I really felt comfortable."

With point guard Jeff Mcinnis sidelined with a bruised shoulder, James was forced to reprise his point guard role from earlier this season. He made 15-of-29 shots and 10-of-10 free throws, adding six rebounds and three steals.

"We needed a big night from (James) and he just carried us," Cavaliers coach Paul Silas said. "He just was simply awesome; he did everything we needed to get the victory." Despite James' heroics, things did not look good for the Cavaliers when Rodney Rogers tipped in a missed free throw by Richard Jefferson, giving the Nets a 104-99 lead with 1:30 to play.

James sped downcourt and drew a foul, sinking both free throws. He missed a jumper on the next possession, but the Nets took a rushed shot and James again beat everyone for a layup that made it 104-103 with 38 seconds left.

The Nets rebounded Jefferson's missed drive with about 25 seconds remaining, and the Cavaliers appeared to be ready to intentionally foul when James deflected a pass, again beat the defense downcourt and put in a layup with 16 seconds to go.

"I heard coach saying, 'Foul, foul,'" Cleveland guard Kedrick Brown said. "At the same time, they got the ball to Richard Jefferson. LeBron jumped up and tipped (his pass)."

"I was trying to get the ball back to Kerry Kittles, who is our best free-throw shooter," admitted Jefferson. "I made a mistake and that's something you have to learn from, and it won't happen again."

Jefferson missed a jumper that James rebounded, dribbled away from a pair of defenders trying to foul and hammered home a dunk with 1.9 seconds left. Kittles missed a desperation 50-footer at the buzzer, sending the Gund Arena crowd into pandemonium.

Jefferson scored a season-high 35 points for the Nets, who again played without injured All-Stars Jason Kidd and Kenyon Martin and have lost six of their last eight games.

"I think (James) carried the team on his shoulders and he played extremely well," New Jersey coach Lawrence Frank said. "Regardless of his age, he's a special player."

New Jersey led, 93-84, with 7:23 left after a 3-pointer by Kittles, who scored 24 points. The Cavaliers pulled even at 96-96 when James rifled a pass to Carlos Boozer for a layup at the 3:17 mark.

"As basketball fans we admire what (James) does," said Boozer, who had 21 points and 11 rebounds. "Surprised isn't the word; impressed is."
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ekedolphin
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#2 Posted on 28.3.04 2307.55
Reposted on: 28.3.11 2308.31
Yeah, I'm not surprised, either. This kid is scary good already, and he's just freakin' 19! I was one of those guys who said after the draft, “Eh, LeBron's gonna be good someday, but he won't be an All-Star caliber player yet, and no way does he lead the Cavs to the playoffs.”

Well... may I have some barbecue sauce with that order of crow, please? I think LeBron's surpassed everybody's expectations at this point. Not only has he become an elite scorer in the NBA, he's also a valuable passer. More importantly, he's a leader. And thanks to him, and a few key transactions such as the addition of Eric Williams and Jeff McInnis (and the subtraction of Ricky Davis), the Cavs are rolling.
rockdotcom_2.0
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#3 Posted on 30.3.04 2244.48
Reposted on: 30.3.11 2249.42
Who slow down there Eke. Im STILL not ready to anoint LeBron James just yet.

Yes hes been good. But He hasnt been spectacular. Hes a very good rookie and people gush over his maturity at such a young age, but I dont think hes the league savior just yet.

Check This out (sports.espn.go.com)

As you can see his numbers are comparable to some past rookies. With the exception of minutes played, hes not really blowing any of them out of the water. And hes nowhere near Jordans SICK numbers.

His team is at 10 games under .500 on a two game losing streak. True enough they are only two games out of the playoffs, but the modern eastern conference is pretty weak.So Im going to wait and see with him. I think he will defnitely be an elite player, but I think people want to give him more accolades than he may deserve. Lets see how he does in the playoffs, if they make it.



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#4 Posted on 31.3.04 0021.24
Reposted on: 31.3.11 0021.39
Two questions:

1) How many of those rookies were 19 years old and fresh out of High School?

2) How much of an improvement is that 10 games below .500 and 2 games out of the playoffs?

Jordan's Bulls weren't exactly great his first couple of years in the league, you know.

(edited by Whitebacon on 30.3.04 2248)
Merc
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#5 Posted on 31.3.04 0110.50
Reposted on: 31.3.11 0110.57
    Originally posted by rockdotcom_2.0
    His team is at 10 games under .500 on a two game losing streak.


His team's numbers were 11-3 from the allstar break until McInnis got injured. Once his team got a couple of role players and a clue, they were much better.

    Originally posted by rockdotcom_2.0
    But He hasnt been spectacular.

I hope that's a season view. In individual games he's been phenomenal. 41-6-13 is a good night out for anyone.

It's not surprising that he's below Jordan's level, but he's really not much below Magic or Larry and that's pretty damn good value in my book.
rockdotcom_2.0
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#6 Posted on 31.3.04 0203.41
Reposted on: 31.3.11 0205.09
    Originally posted by Whitebacon
    Two questions:

    1) How many of those rookies were 19 years old and fresh out of High School?

    2) How much of an improvement is that 10 games below .500 and 2 games out of the playoffs?

    Jordan's Bulls weren't exactly great his first couple of years in the league, you know.

    (edited by Whitebacon on 30.3.04 2248)



1) None were that young, but they weren't that much older either. Its a different age nowadays and 19 now is probably 22 in 1984 in terms of talent level. Of course guys now can barely shoot and James is no exception. Notice MJ's rookie year shooting percentage s is 51% to LJ's 41%. I don't hold James' age against him. In contrast I think alot of people are using his age to give him more than he deserves. He seems very mature and he doesn't play like a typical rookie. But I don't see a veteran either, to me I see James as a foreign player with more athleticism, if that makes ANY sense. I'm sorry but its 3 am here...LOL.


2) the team has improved, they only won 17 games last year total, so of course he has improved his team. But still they make not make the playoffs. And thats the benchmark for me. yes the Bulls weren't that great Jordan's early years, but they DID make the playoffs.



And yeah that 41 point game is spectacular. But for the season hes been good, maybe even VERY good.
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#7 Posted on 31.3.04 0826.41
Reposted on: 31.3.11 0826.49
He's the equivalent of a college freshman. He and Carmello are amazing. The difference is that LeBron is saying and doing the right things and really understands the cliche that there is no I in team. How many athletes in his situtaion and at his age, exceed expectations?
The Amazing Salami
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#8 Posted on 31.3.04 0833.00
Reposted on: 31.3.11 0835.55
Exactly, rock. You add in all the AAU teams that play a nation-wide schedule and prep schools like the one LeBron went too are playing games on ESPN at major league venues, it's a lot different than Larry Bird playing at French Lick.

I would venture to say that LeBron probably had at least four times the amount of exposure last year as a high school senior than Larry Bird had as a senior in college leading his team to the NCAA championship game.

(edited by The Amazing Salami on 31.3.04 0633)

(edited by The Amazing Salami on 31.3.04 0634)

(edited by The Amazing Salami on 31.3.04 0635)

(edited by The Amazing Salami on 31.3.04 0635)
JayJayDean
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#9 Posted on 31.3.04 0950.51
Reposted on: 31.3.11 0950.52
    Originally posted by rockdotcom_2.0
    Who slow down there Eke. Im STILL not ready to anoint LeBron James just yet.

    Yes hes been good. But He hasnt been spectacular. Hes a very good rookie and people gush over his maturity at such a young age, but I dont think hes the league savior just yet.

    Check This out (sports.espn.go.com)

    As you can see his numbers are comparable to some past rookies. With the exception of minutes played, hes not really blowing any of them out of the water. And hes nowhere near Jordans SICK numbers.

    His team is at 10 games under .500 on a two game losing streak. True enough they are only two games out of the playoffs, but the modern eastern conference is pretty weak.So Im going to wait and see with him. I think he will defnitely be an elite player, but I think people want to give him more accolades than he may deserve. Lets see how he does in the playoffs, if they make it.






Thsi is without a doubt the DUMBEST post I've ever read. Are you one of those guys who has to just have a different opinion just to be different? When Kurt Angle was about four months into his WWF tenure and he was being hailed as the future of the WWF did you make posts like "well, *I'm* not sold on Kurt Angle, I don't know if he could be World Champ." Geez. I'll take this point-by-point.

1. He's 19. You say it's not all that different from being 22. What a load of crap. Sure, he played on ESPN, against ANOTHER HIGH SCHOOL TEAM. Sure he played a lot more AAU ball than they did back in the day, against OTHER HIGH SCHOOL PLAYERS. It's not like the Ohio State basketball tournament that St. Vincent-St. Mary's won is comparable in quality to the ACC tournament. Seriously, how many Ohio high school players could've given LeBron the kind of test in a game that would prepare him for being guarded by the likes of Ron Artest, or having to defend against a guy like, even a below-elite offensive player like Rip Hamilton.

2. You know where LeBron would've been had he come along 20 years ago. In college, just like everybody else. Because that is what you did. MJ: three years in college. Larry Bird: four years in college. Magic: two years. Isiah: two years. Against higher competition every night than LeBron ever faced in high school. Now LeBron has skipped the JV (college) level and gone straight in against the BEST in the world, and he's awesome.

3. He scores less than MJ and doesn't shoot as well. It's a fact that teams play better defense in 2004 than they did in 1984. MJ scored 28.2 points per game on a team that scored 108.7 points per game, 25.9%. LeBron is at 20.9 ppg on a team scoring 93.2 ppg, 22.4% of his team's scoring. So MJ still accounts for more of his team's points, but not as much as it appears when you average them out, plus MJ was three years older than LeBron. (I'd be willing to put $20 on it that LeBron will account for more of his team's scoring when HE'S 22.)

4. They still CAN (and likely will) make the playoffs. And if THAT'S your "benchmark" you're setting it pretty low. The pre-MJ Bulls went 27-55. MJ's rookie-Bulls went 38-44. Wow. An 11-game improvement. That's much more impressive than the FIFTEEN game improvement that the Cavs have ALREADY accomplished. MJ's Bulls were the 7-seed with their LOSING record, and won ONE playoff game against the Bucks, who were SO good that they got swept in the next round by Philadelphia.
JoshMann
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#10 Posted on 31.3.04 1018.49
Reposted on: 31.3.11 1019.52
    Originally posted by rockdotcom
    Notice MJ's rookie year shooting percentage s is 51% to LJ's 41%.


That's not because Jordan had any kind of consistant jump shot night in night out at the time. He shot that high because no one could stop him going to the basket...so he did so. Early and often.

I'm not saying LeBron has any kind of consistant jumper yet, either, but he's been shooting more from the outside than Jordan did in 1984. That's why.

(edited by Blanket Jackson on 31.3.04 1119)
calvinh0560
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#11 Posted on 31.3.04 1647.55
Reposted on: 31.3.11 1648.30
Bird helped the C's win 32 more games his rookie year.

But I don't know where all your hate is coming from JayJay. I have read nothing in this thread that said LeBron is not a good player. He is. All some people are saying is that you should not anoint he yet. And you shouldn't. Well he be an All Star for years to come? If he stays healthy, yes. But its still WAY to early to call him the next Bird, Magic or Jordan. I still think that 5 years from now Yao Ming not LeBron will be the best player in this game. And he has had alot harder transition in the league then Lebron has.
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#12 Posted on 31.3.04 1754.13
Reposted on: 31.3.11 1755.07
    Originally posted by calvinh0560
    But I don't know where all your hate is coming from JayJay.


You think that was HATE? I cooled down for 12 hours before posting my reply...

What can you possibly see when you watch LeBron James play? Here's a 19-year-old guy, putting up 20/6/6, on a team that is on pace to DOUBLE it's win total from the year before, and he's just VERY GOOD? I can think of words like "astonishing", "astounding", and "incredible" to go along with "very good". Did you not SEE the 41 and 13 he put up the other night? He willed his team to victory, at 19! A guy who should be a freshman in college, like Luol Deng. Do you think Deng could step in and average 20/6/6 RIGHT NOW? I doubt he could in the CBA, and I DAMN SURE KNOW he couldn't in the NBA. But somehow you guys are seeing something in LeBron that I and most of the basketball world are missing, that little thing that will keep him from reaching that ELITE level. Nobody else sees it, but rockdotcom_2.0 sees it. Well, whoopee-fucking-doo. Please share with me what it is I'm missing? Are his passes not crisp enough? Does he not get high enough above the rim? Please enlighten me to the flaws in LeBron's game, outside shot aside. MJ didn't have a great "J" when the came into the league, either, but he managed to get past it. He's everything T-Mac SHOULD be, everything Kobe thinks he would be if Shaq wasn't there, and he's doing it at 19, when most rookies have hit the "rookie wall".

I love Yao. He'll be possibly more dominant, statistically, than Shaq, since he can, you know, make a free throw. But don't try to say he had a more difficult transition, on a basketball level, than LeBron. On a cultural level? Of course. But Yao was dominating the Chinese PRO LEAGUE. Not the Chinese HIGH SCHOOL LEAGUE. American college players try to make it in the Chinese league and don't make it. Plus, Yao played in an Olympics, so he got a taste of the highest level before he stepped on an NBA court. LeBron's taste? The Summer Pro League. Not the same thing.

I love Carmelo, but I don't think he'd be doing as well if he hadn't had the year at Syracuse to build his game and, more importantly, his confidence. But he doesn't do things on a nightly basis like LeBron. He's like James Worthy, not so flashy, but then you look up and he's scored 25. His team added a lot more players, like Andre Miller and Jon Barry, and the Cavs did not make a similar talent upgrade over the summer. Just LeBron. The Ricky Davis-trade helped, but as NBA players I'd rather have Andre Miller than Eric Williams or Tony Battie.

Look, as soon as you can show me some historical thing that downgrades LeBron's accomplishments at 19, I'll be all ears. The fact is that MJ was the third option at UNC, Magic wasn't "Magic" quite yet, and I think Larry Bird was riding the pine at Indiana when they were all 19. But here's LeBron at 19, first pick in the draft, all the hype one guy can get without stepping foot on the court, and he's transcended everyone's expectations of him this first year, at both personal AND team accomplishments. Again, what am I missing here?
rockdotcom_2.0
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#13 Posted on 31.3.04 1759.38
Reposted on: 31.3.11 1800.33
Ouch Jay Jay. DUMBEST post ever? I'm sure Ive said stupider shit than that around here.


Well you don't agree fine. I think you took my criticism of LeBron a little personally. Ill rebuff YOUR rebuffs.


I'm not one of those guys that likes to be different just to be different. I'm one of those guys that wants to see a phenom EARN respect and accolade over a few years.

Yes he played against all high school players. But in case you haven't noticed high school players are MUCH better than they were 20 years ago. AND Lebron practiced with The Cleveland Cavs on a few occasions in his high school days. AND he was personally invited after his sophomore year to Micheal Jordan's private workouts in Chicago in 2001 when Jordan was preparing his comeback.


TEN high school players got drafted last year. It may be more this year. Face it, players are better nowadays. SO yeah 22 in 1984 is 19 today.

And I didn't say making the playoffs is enough. I want to see how he PLAYS in the playoffs.


My point is, it takes me a few years to anoint a guy. If in 4 years the are on pace to win 60 games and LeBron Is leading them averaging 25 points and 10 assists, then Ill be convinced. I'm sure hes going to be good. Probably one of the Leagues best. I'm just saying right now, hes still just a a great ROOKIE.


For the record I liked Kurt Angle but I don't think ANYONE deserves the WWF title in their first year.




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#14 Posted on 31.3.04 1812.16
Reposted on: 31.3.11 1815.00
Aw crap. I came back to edit my other post and there was already a reply. But rock touched on what I came back to address.

    Originally posted by rockdotcom_2.0
    TEN high school players got drafted last year. It may be more this year. Face it, players are better nowadays. SO yeah 22 in 1984 is 19 today.


They're not better, they are going into the draft because the contracts are guaranteed and they are getting drafted based on POTENTIAL. You think Travis Outlaw really belongs on an NBA team? Is, say, Darius Miles an example of the "better" high school player of today? I know there are the superstars who came straight into the league, but NONE of them did what LeBron is doing in their first year.

    Originally posted by rockdotcom_2.0
    If in 4 years the are on pace to win 60 games and LeBron Is leading them averaging 25 points and 10 assists, then Ill be convinced.


In 1988-89, the Bulls won 47 games. What were you saying about MJ then? (HINT: It probably wasn't "he still needs to prove himself to ME.")




rockdotcom_2.0
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#15 Posted on 31.3.04 2151.54
Reposted on: 31.3.11 2152.16
    Originally posted by JayJayDean


      Originally posted by rockdotcom_2.0
      If in 4 years the are on pace to win 60 games and LeBron Is leading them averaging 25 points and 10 assists, then Ill be convinced.


    In 1988-89, the Bulls won 47 games. What were you saying about MJ then? (HINT: It probably wasn't "he still needs to prove himself to ME.")







Well I was only 12 in 1988 so all I really could say about Jordan at the time was that he had cool shoes. I wasn't quite the know it all I am now

BUT, until the Bulls won the title in 1991, more than one sportswriter, commentator and regular fan were labeling Jordan as a guy who couldn't get his team to the promised land. A great individual player but not a team lifter like Magic or Isiah.
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