Monday, May 28, 2007

Take Your Pick: Defending Against LeBron vs. The Pistons

Alright all of this dissecting of LeBron's every move has had me thinking a lot. So, naturally, I arrived at a mental crossroads which inspired me to blog....or just boredom one of the two. OK, so who would you rather gameplan against the superstar or the all-around team? The best example right now would be the Cavs (LeBron) vs. Pistons matchup so that's what I'm using to iron all of this out.

Ok so who would you rather have to gameplan against that one guy who can beat you, and beat you bad or the team where any guy can step up and beat you on any night? To arrive at my pick was rather simple I suppose. Just look at the 4 teams remaining in the NBA Playoffs. 1 Superstar (King James) and 3 other all-around teams who seem to be calibrated for the playoffs. To me this really spells it out nicely. I would much rather gameplan against LeBron than have to gameplan for the Pistons. Right now, if you can stop LeBron you stop the Cavs. That's why I think that they are a year, maybe 2 years or 1 player away from making the finals.

Take a look at teams like the Pistons and Spurs. Nothing too exciting or flashy. They just play defense and win....especially in the playoffs. In looking at the Pistons they have any number of guys that can beat you on any night. One night Chauncey will beat you and the next night Rip will tear you up. Not to mention Webber, 'Sheed, and McDyess. You can't just focus on beating the one guy. Whereas the Pistons can beat the Cavs by really mainly focusing on how to stop LeBron, getting a double-team on him, his tendencies, and taking away those tendencies and opportunities. With a complete team like the Pistons most likely nobody will explode on you but there are too many ways they can beat you and too many things to worry about.

Basically, I would rather have to focus on stopping the one guy who can beat you badly than having to worry about stopping a team full of guys who can beat you. That's what the Pistons are, and LeBron is the lone ranger when it comes to superstars in this year's playoffs right now. My pick was Cavs in 7. This was mostly because because I don't like the Pistons. It will be interesting to see if my prediction holds true but don't' be surprised to see a Spurs vs. Pistons final of "boring" basketball. Because these two teams are built for the playoffs and I think a lot of NBA coaching staffs would probably agree with me in preferring to gameplan against a LeBron, Kobe, or Dwayne Wade-like player than teams like the Spurs, Pistons, Jazz, or Suns.

But that's just my opinion. Some would maybe argue that it would be easier to not have to worry about double-teaming anyone. They would say that the Cavs just need to focus on winning individual battles and creating favorable matchups which would be far easier than stopping the LeBron's of the world. All you need to do is have everybody do their job right? You have a better chance to win if you are gameplanning against the team that doesn't have that superstar threat.
I disagree with that point of view though. Once again just look at the teams that are in the playoffs right now. Look at the superstar-studded teams that are at home watching. Right now I'd much rather be a coach sitting on the Pistons bench than the Cavs bench, they probably get more sleep at night. Although, if you're sitting on the Cavs bench trying to figure this stuff out you probably deserve to be paid more.


arsenalist said...

The Cleveland formula is pretty good, if their outside shooters were half-decent and not so bloody inconsistent, they would be up in this series. Lebron has literally no help on that team save from Gooden.

I mean they're counting on Gibson to come up big, that says a lot about their depth. IMHO, Cleveland is on the right path, they just need one or two good off-seasons.

adfadf said...


Raps Fan said...

Sorry about the above comment, I put in a comment, and it didn't show up, so I was testing it...

I would much rather prepare for Lebron then the Pistons. Until Lebron achieves that superstar status (a la Bird/Magic/Jordan), and until he gets better help (can't have Hughes going down left and right), this team is easily stopped.

The Cavs have real issues at the point. Once Snow's contract expires, they can address it, because no one is taking him on at that price.

I like how they are coming along though, with Pavolic's emergence, and if Hughes can stay healthy, they have a nice core. Too bad they couldn't sign Redd (the hometown appeal didn't have quite the cache apparantly), or they would have been dirty.

grittysquirrels said...

Honestly, in my opinion LeBron is basically on his own whether he has Hughes or not. It's not like Hughes has contributed much positives at all in the esries anyways. Sure he has Gooden but that says it all. They're 1 player away.

Personally I also feel like LeBron has already achived the superstar status. He's not yet a historical great like Bird/Magic/or MJ but that's probably because he's only 22 and everybody is already comparing his every movie to Michael. He's right there with the superstars of today (think Kobe, DWade, etc,).

All of this still does not change the fact that I would much rather have to gameplan for the one guy who can beat you badly (King James) than the team of guys who can beat you (Pistons)