LeBron James played poorly in the Finals and everybody knows it. He knows it, we know it, other players know it, people on television know it, newspaper guys know it, Kevin Bacon knows it, particularly smart household pets know it, Phillip Bailey from Earth, Wind and Fire and Phil Collins’ “Easy Lover” knows it. Literally everyone who watched the Finals knows it, and we all have ideas for how to fix LeBron James.
And Pat Riley thinks we’re all idiots for thinking that. From the Sun-Sentinel:
“[LeBron's] got a go-to game. He doesn’t have to have a go-to move,” Riley said during an informal season-ending media session at AmericanAirlines Arena. “I mean, I love reading all the people who’ve never coached in their life, that all of a sudden became experts about he needed a ‘go-to.’ He’s got a go-to game.
“He knows what he needs to do to get better as a player. He’s 26 years old and I think there’s another huge upside for him.”
Basically, “Shut up, dummies. LeBron James is fine and he’s a straight baller and you need to fall back because he still had one of the best seasons of everybody in the league. Chill.” And it’s hard to argue with that, even though LeBron was so not LeBron in the Finals. He’s still young, he’s still excellent at basketball, it’s only right to assume he’ll keep getting better and figure out how to perform when defenses lock down.
Plus, Riley does have one good suggestion that could improve LeBron’s game when his threes aren’t falling and he can’t get all the way to the rim.
Riley said if there is one area where James could make a breakthrough, it’s with the addition of a mid-range game.
“Trying to find separation and raising and making jumpers, a lot like what Dwyane (Wade) did, when Dwyane really broke through,” Riley said.
Wait. That’s what we were all saying, that he needs a mid-range game he can rely on when his current repertoire isn’t working. Maybe we are not such nincompoops after all, Pat Riley. Give us some credit every once in a while.