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LeBron going to spend more time in post, play some point forward

Oct 1, 2012, 4:19 AM EDT

Miami Heat's LeBron James takes part in a team practice for the NBA basketball finals in Oklahoma City Reuters

The Miami Heat have found their identity — they are going to play small. They are gong to have Chris Bosh spend lot of time at the five spot (he says he is ready for it) then have LeBron at the power forward spot.

He says he’s ready for all of it.

He says he is ready to go to the post, and he is ready for a point-forward role.

LeBron went to the block more than ever last season — 14.3 percent of his shots originated with him in the post— and he plans to do more of it this season. Cheek out this quote, via Tom Haberstoh of ESPN


But when you have the talents of LeBron on you don’t just go to the block. What LeBron will be is more of a point forward —a big with ball who can run the offense from the point or head to the block and be a forward. Look what he told ESPN’s Heat index.

“I think it’s pretty cool,” James said. “I’ve always looked at Scottie Pippen and of course Magic [Johnson]. Magic was a 6-9 point guard who could also play different positions. Pip played point forward in the triangle offense. Grant Hill, when he was in his prime in Detroit, was also kind of that point forward guy.”

Basically, whatever mismatch he creates, the Heat will exploit. And LeBron creates a lot of mismatches.

  1. soopreme - Oct 1, 2012 at 8:09 AM

    When its all said and done with, Lebron will be number 2 all time.

    • gepsep - Oct 1, 2012 at 9:18 AM

      Coming from a celtics-for-life fan, i agree with this. He is just too good to not be that high.

  2. rooney24 - Oct 1, 2012 at 1:27 PM

    Playing small will create mismatches as other teams try to defend. How many more traditional PFs can defend LeBron, especially outside? I would think you would take LeBron outside to exploit that. If he plays in the paint, more PFs might be able to defend him.

    I think the overall issue isn’t when the Heat are on offense, but whether a good, bigger team can wear them down when the Heat are on defense. In a game or series LeBron can defend the 4 no problem. But, will he wear down defending the 4 and banging the boards for a full 82 game season, and then the playoffs?

    • miamatt - Oct 2, 2012 at 8:06 AM

      Lebron is as big as Karl Malone ever was, and look around- there aren’t any Karl Malones in the league left for him to “bang with”. Besides, his minutes and matchups will be heavily monitored. The only objective for Miami during the regular season is to (1) be as healthy and rested as possible for the playoffs while (2) getting one of the top three seeds in the East. That is their organizational philosophy, and it is a smart one.

  3. michaeljordanseviltwin - Oct 1, 2012 at 4:34 PM

    LeBron James playing in the post is a beautiful thing. He didn’t fully embrace it until the 2012 NBA Finals, where he wore down the Thunder with his passing and scoring brilliance.

    I realized the other day that most post players first have to jockey for position and then receive a well placed pass before they can do any damage. LeBron has the ability to dribble himself right into post position. The defense always stays a few feet back from LBJ (out of respect for his speed and lay-up prowess) leaving plenty of space for him to turn his back and bang into great post position. That dribble-to-post-position advantage is huge. From there he can just score or wait for the double team and hit a teammate on the hands for an open shot. I really hope he remembers the lessons of his NBA Finals performance by fully committing to his post game this year.

  4. eventhorizon04 - Oct 1, 2012 at 4:57 PM

    It’s a good idea.
    He’s a very difficult match-up in the lowpost due to his speed advantage compared to power forwards/centers and his passing ability if he’s double-teamed.

    Playing him at power-forward also makes life easier for Wade. Bosh has worked on improving his 3 point shot. LeBron’s 3 point shot isn’t bad – he shot 36.2% from 3 last year, compared to Kevin Durant’s 38.7%. LeBron and Bosh at the 4 and 5 can set up by the 3-point arc, and while neither is “Ray Allen”-accurate from 3, the opposing power forward and center can’t afford to cheat off of them too much because they can both hit the shot when left open.
    If Wade drives to the basket in that situation, he either doesn’t have to worry about help coming from a PF/C, or if one of the bigs comes to help, Wade could always kick the ball to either an open Bosh or LeBron. Depending on how quickly the defense rotates, this leaves the defense vulnerable to breakdowns.

    The concern about using him at PF for all 82 games due to wear and tear is valid, but Spoelstra has talked of managing all of the Big 3’s minutes better with the added depth.
    Wade has a high-quality backup in Ray Allen that can play 20 minutes a game, so limiting Wade to 30 minutes a game isn’t complicated.
    Bosh can be backed up by Udonis Haslem if the team needs more defense and rebound or Rashard Lewis if they need length and floor spacing.
    LeBron can be spelled by Shane Battier or Mike Miller depending on whether the lineup needs more production on defense (Battier) or offense (Miller).

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