Game Winning Shots, Kobe or Lebron

Lebron James or Kobe BryantHow many times did we hear that when the game is on the line, who would you want on your team to take that last second shot? And often Bryant gets credit for his clutch play.

But a new report by the popular NBA stats Web site suggests otherwise.

According to the Web site, and their definition of a game winning shot, “24 seconds or less left in the game, team with the ball is either tied or down by 1 to 2 points.” Kobe Bryant made 14 or 56 (.250) where Lebron James is 17 of 50 (.340).

LeBron James was just 4-19 in their previous look at game winning shots, so in the ensuing two and a half seasons, he has come up with a very respectable 13-31 (.419) record and just the other day had a pure game winner at the buzzer to top the Warriors. In addition he has six assists and a healthy number of free throws earned 14-20.

Kobe Bryant is #4 in the league in total game winners hit, however he holds the top spot in a less glamorous category: most game winning opportunity missed shots with 42. Lebron James comes third in that category with 33 missed shots.

In playoffs, Kobe and Lebron are both 4-8 (.500).

“Ultimately though while this kind of thing is fun, it’s not to my mind particularly meaningful, other than indicating that the league as a whole could probably get more efficient in “end game” possessions” Roland Beech of suggests. “one easy place to start might be to try and be less predictable! It’s nice to have a go-to guy, but when the other team knows without much doubt that a certain guy is getting the ball, it is going to be a lot easier to defend! ”

If we look at the assist numbers, Lebron James lead the league with 6 while Kobe is only 1.So if you want to add his assists to his makes, then make that 23/50 (.46) which is AMAZING.

This is where giving the ball to Lebron James in the last position can be very dangerous to the opposing team because if he can’t take the last shot, he will find an open teammate that can.

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Szczerbiak broke nose, will play with a mask

Wally Szczerbiak broke his nose in Wednesday night’s win at New York in the third quarter but continued to play. Szczerbiak started the past two games while Sasha Pavlovic was out with the flu.

Szczerbiak was fitted with the mask on Friday and practiced with it on Saturday as the Cavaliers prepared for their Sunday game against the Los Angeles Lakers.

“I’m going to play him like normal,” Cavs coach Mike Brown said. “He should be good to go.”

Lebron James Triple-Double in New York Taken Away

The NBA decided to review Lebron’s historic performance at the Madison Suqar Garden last Wednesday and decided to take away his 10th rebound and awarded it to Ben Wallace instead.

James scored a season-high 52 points and had 11 assists Wednesday in the Cavaliers’ 107-102 victory at New York. He was believed to have a triple-double when he grabbed what went down as a 10th rebound with less than 2 seconds left.

The NBA usually reviews calls at each game and adjust stats. However it took them two days to make this adjustment and it might be fueled by the heated remarks from Cavs owner Dan Gilbert late Thursday in which he called Stern’s decision to shun Williams “stupidiculous, idillogical and preposterageous.” Also, Cavs General Manager Danny Ferry said that Stern “maybe doesn’t appreciate how important Mo has been to our team.”

The NBA decided Wallace had controlled the ball and passed it to James. The NBA basketball operations staff, headed by league Vice President Stu Jackson, had the final call on the adjustment.

“We followed a procedure in which we review plays to make sure the stats are accurate to protect the integrity and history of the league,” NBA spokesman Tim Frank said.

“the ruling was inconsistent with the stat crew’s tallies during the game. Wallace tipped a handful of rebounds to teammates, a tactic he’s perfected during his career and has been dubbed the “Ben back-tap” by Cavs play-by-play voice Fred McLeod. Most of the time at arenas around the league, Wallace gets credit for these as rebounds” Brian Windhorst, Cavs beat writer said.

“Yet the stats crew gave Wallace just one rebound in the game before NBA intervention while Wally Szczerbiak, who grabbed several of Wallace’s tap-backs, ended up with an anomaly of 13 rebounds, the second-highest total of his career. The review of the film by the NBA, though, did not change any other of Wallace’s uncredited back-taps or Szczerbiak’s rebounds.”

Ray Allen named to All Star team

The Cavaliers were outraged last week when guard Mo Williams was left off the NBA All-Star team by the Eastern Conference coaches. In response they staged a protest in the only way they could, by issuing a series of loud complaints through the media for days on end.

But it reached a new level Thursday when NBA Commissioner David Stern replaced injured Orlando Magic guard Jameer Nelson with Ray Allen of the Boston Celtics, again slighting Williams.

Ben Wallace was right when he called Mo originally being passed over for the All-Star Game a ‘shamockery,’ ” said Cavaliers owner Daniel Gilbert in an e-mailed statement. “But not naming him as the natural and obvious replacement for the unfortunately injured Jameer Nelson is stupidiculous, idillogical and preposterageous.”


Savor This Sunday’s Matchup Between LeBron and Kobe

This Sunday’s showdown between the Cleveland Cavaliers and L.A. Lakers should be savored for many reasons: the teams only meet twice a year, this may be an NBA Finals preview and the superstar matchup between LeBron James and Kobe Bryant features—to borrow the title of one of my favorite basketball articles ever—“The Best the Game Offers”; that description fit Larry Bird and Julius Erving when Tom Callahan penned those words in 1982 and it definitely applies to James and Bryant today. There are even parallels in terms of the age difference, size disparity and stylistic contrasts with those two duos; Bird and James were/are bigger and six years younger than their main rival and were/are considered to be more “pass first” oriented even though Erving and Bryant were/are underrated playmakers.

Bryant just won the Western Conference Player of the Month for January after averaging 27.2 ppg, 5.9 rpg and 7.1 apg while leading the Lakers to a 12-4 record. He had six 30 point games, two triple doubles and four consecutive games with double digit assists; James claimed Eastern Conference Player of the Month honors for January with averages of 27.5 ppg, 9.6 rpg and 8.2 apg, the first player to reach those levels in each category in the same calendar month since Bird in March 1987. James had six 30 point games and three triple doubles as the Cavs went 10-4. Most readers probably know that I give Bryant a slight edge over James due to the greater completeness of Bryant’s skill set—Bryant is shooting .349 from three point range and .860 on free throws while James is shooting just .295 and .763 respectively from those ranges; Bryant also is a much better midrange jump shooter than James—but they are both putting up mind boggling numbers this season. Even more importantly, James and Bryant embrace the challenge at the defensive end of the court and—no matter what anyone says–they have separated themselves from every other great player in the league.

Bryant and the Lakers got the best of James and the Cavs 105-88 two weeks ago in Los Angeles but—assuming that the Cavs take care of Toronto on Tuesday night—Cleveland will own a 23-0 home record when the Lakers arrive at the Q. The Cavs were without the services of Zydrunas Ilgauskas when the Lakers beat them but this time around the Lakers will be sans Andrew Bynum, who will be out for at least eight weeks after tearing the MCL in his right knee. Those injuries are yet another reminder of why we should all savor Sunday’s game: no one knows how many times James and Bryant will have the opportunity to play against each other when both players are at the height of their powers while leading championship contending squads; just five years after Callahan’s article appeared, Bird had already won his final championship and MVP and Erving had retired.

Jameer Nelson has torn labrum

MRI results came out today and it was not good for Jameer Nelson and the Orlando Magic.

Jameer Nelson could miss the rest of the season for the Orlando Magic because of a torn labrum in his right shoulder.

Nelson will decide over the next week whether he will have surgery or attempt rehabilitation. If surgery is the option, his season is over. If he passes on the surgery, he’ll still most likely be out at least several weeks.

“It’s a big blow for us,” center Dwight Howard said after Monday night’s loss. “I’m trying not to even think about it because he had been playing so well for us. It’s a sad day for us all.”

Nelson was having a career season, averaging 16.7 points and 5.4 assists per game. He was selected to his first All-Star Game and was also slated to compete in the skills challenge on Feb. 14 in Phoenix.

“We’ve done it before so we’ll do whatever we have to do,” Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said.

If Nelson is unable to play in the All-Star then Mo Williams of the Cleveland Cavaliers is most likely to take his spot when David Stern selects the injury replacement.

Delonte West may join the team before All-Star break

Delonte West, who suffered a fractured right wrist Jan. 15 in Chicago said he expects to have his hard cast removed Thursday and will begin shooting exercises later in the week.

“That’s some exciting news for me,” West said Sunday prior to Cleveland’s 90-80 victory in Detroit. “I’m good, I’m in good spirits, and I’m ready to start shooting. Hopefully, I’ll be able to get into a game before the All-Star break (which begins Feb. 12).”

West has missed nine games with the injury. He is one of the best 3-point shooter on the team. He is averaging 12.3 points and 3.5 assists while ranking 36th in the NBA beyond the arc at .409.

Could Chris Bosh become a Cavalier?

Steven A Smith mentions Shawn Marion’s $17 million expiring as a possible way to lure Bosh to Miami, but what about the Cavs? Marion’s 30-years old. The Heat don’t have any young big man prospects that the Raptors would be interested in. The Cavs, however, have J.J. Hickson and Anderson Varejao at their disposal, as well as Wally Szczerbiak’s $13 million expiring deal.

They can also give up both their 2009 and 2011 first-rounders (can’t give up sequential picks, for those of you not in the know) and combine it all to put together a very, very lucrative package for Colangelo as he tries to build from the ground up.

Bosh is making $14.4 million this year. A deal including Szczerbiak, Hickson, Daniel Gibson, and two first-rounders makes sense contractually, especially considering Gibson’s status as a Base Year Contract (BYC) player for this year. (Don’t try this trade on the four letter’s or Real GM’s trade machine because they don’t take Gibson’s status into account.)

It would be pretty similar to what the Lakers did for Pau Gasol at this time last year: Expiring contracts, draft picks, young players. The Cavs keep their entire starting lineup in tact while just sliding Bosh into power forward. The Raptors, who are already struggling and face losing Bosh for nothing in two years, get cap room for this summer as well as draft picks and a young big man to work with and develop in Hickson.

Trust me: Dallas and Miami really can’t do any better. Unless the Mavericks throw Dirk Nowitzki into the equation, which I doubt they will considering Mark Cuban’s love affair with him.

It’s something to think about. But remember, Cavs fans: This could have easily been LeBron being shopped if the Cavs weren’t having the kind of season they are right now.

Cavalier Attitude