OAKLAND, Calif. — Years ago, there were the “Jordan Rules,” a group of directives designed for defending Michael Jordan.
So now the chap who is currently reigning as the Most Impossible Man on Earth to Defend, LeBron James, was asked for his interpretation of rules against him that do not involve the use of pepper spray, tire irons or handcuffs.
Face it, those implements are probably more practical than, “Make it tough on him …”
“I don’t think there are LeBron Rules,” James said Saturday on the eve of Sunday’s NBA Finals on Game 2. “For me personally, I think a coaching staff puts together a game plan that best suits his team, best suits the individual when going against myself and my teammates, and they try to be successful with that.”
Right, make it tough on him, don’t give him any open shots, make him work. And while you’re at it, solve the world peace problem. Really, nothing works on James for an extended period of time.
“Obviously, we’ve all heard of the, quote/unquote, Jordan Rules or whatever the case may be and whoever decided to bring that notion up as a way to stop Jordan,” James said. “But I think more importantly this is a team game, and coaching staffs put together game plans that best fit their team to stop either that dynamic player but also the rest of the guys on the floor as well.”
The Warriors’ game plan in Game 1 wasn’t too bad against “the rest of the guys on the floor.” Against James, the plan may need to go back to the laboratory. James was brilliant, hitting 19 of 32 shots from every spot on the floor. He finished with a playoff career-high 51 points. And lost.
Hey, maybe those LeBron Rules work after all.
“I didn’t think we made him work hard enough, though,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “I thought everything was smooth sailing for him. It’s one thing to have a philosophy where you’re going to say, ‘Hey, we’re going to make this guy beat us and shut everybody else down.’ You can have that philosophy in general. Lot of teams have done it with superstars in the past.”
The Warriors have been without their best LeBron defensive weapon, Andre Iguodala, sort of the Joe Dumars foil to Jordan. Iguodala (leg) missed Game 1 and is doubtful for Game 2. Draymond Green, who spends lots of time on LeBron, noted what makes Iguodala special.
“His instincts. The resistance he brings on the floor,” Green said. “It’s not just him guarding LeBron, it’s just what he brings to the defensive side of the floor is amazing.”
Still, the Warriors can make it tough, even minus Iguodala.
“They’re damn good with him and they’re damn good without him,” said James, who explained his attack mode approach.
“It’s all about angles. For me, seeing things before they happen, being able to beat a defender that’s in front of me, but understanding there’s going to be multiple guys either stabbing at the ball, rotating, poking at the ball, putting bodies and hands in front of me. So you have to be strong with the ball,” James said. “Being able to read and react to the defense, being able to not only get past your guy but know when the rotations happen and being able to put the ball on time and on target to your teammates. There are a lot of things that go on.”
Source: Read Full Article