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Delonte West to return, LeBron's point guard era ends

Feb 8, 2010, 8:17 PM EST

nba_west_small.jpgDelonte West, who has missed the last eight games with a finger injury, will reportedly return to action against the New Jersey Nets on Tuesday. Cavalier starting point guard Mo Williams suffered a shoulder injury just before West went down.

For the Cavaliers, this meant that LeBron James was the primary playmaker for the past eight games. Daniel Gibson started in West’s place at point guard, but Gibson is a spot-up shooter with a career average of 1.7 assists per game.

Pressed into action as the de facto point guard, LeBron James averaged 10.25 assists over the eight games that West and Williams sat, and recorded 11 or more assists in five of those eight games. The Cavs were 8-0 during the stretch, and in four of the eight games James accounted for at least half of the Cavs’ total assists.

Back when LeBron was a prospect, he repeatedly insisted that he was a passer at heart rather than a scorer. In the NBA, LeBron’s scoring has overshadowed his playmaking, but for an extended stretch NBA fans got to see LeBron push his capabilities as a gigantic point guard. LeBron is apparently glad to be returning to his natural role in the offense, but his all-around prowess during the Cavs’ current winning streak has certainly been impressive. 

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