LeBron James is Human After All

It’s not often that a superstar has a game like LeBron James did yesterday and still loses. In fact, it’s downright improbable. It’s even less likely for a superstar like LeBron to lose due to his inability to defend the opposing team’s best player on the final possession of the game. It’s such a rare occasion that I, a fan of the Lakers that can remember just about any Laker game without the help of an exterior source, cannot at all recall the Lakers ever losing when Kobe Bryant is guarding the guy on the final possession.

I’m sure LeBron’s used to that too. Like when Kevin Durant drove by him, got his shot changed up by the help defender, and threw up a hopeless, off-balance prayer that LeBron got back in time to block. Or the few days before that, when Dwayne Wade blocked LeBron’s shot on a fast break, only to make a lazy, anti-clutch pass that would effectively lead to him losing his team the game.

These are the kind of breaks that a player like LeBron gets. It’s been said that fortunate befriends the bold, and luck favors the prepared. This can explain away why LBJ would be the beneficiary of such mistakes. That’s why when a player that is often over-looked in the LeBron-Kobe debate, Carmelo Anthony, steals a game in the two top players’ own arenas, it becomes an oh-so-sweet occurrence.

About three weeks ago, the Nuggets beat the Lakers in Los Angeles. Chauncey Billups had the game of his life, Melo was out with an injury, and the Lakers lost.

Last night, both Chauncey and Melo were there, and it took both of them to dethrone the King. How he’s the King when he has yet to win anything remains a mystery to me, but I’ll humor the masses. Chauncey and Melo were able to get off any shot they wanted against the Cavaliers in crunch-time last night.

I watched Chauncey move around screens to escape Daniel Gibson and Mo Williams. I watched Melo absolutely abuse LeBron on the defensive end, scoring on him at will. It got so bad that LeBron was scared to body him up for fear that he would get blown by and Melo would score regardless of the help defenders (which he did).

Carmelo Anthony-the one guy with the physical tools and skills to counteract LeBron's beastial qualities.

Even with LeBron getting all the calls, and Chauncey and Melo getting raped but receiving no whistles, the Nuggets were still able to pull it off in overtime. I realized a few things after watching this game:

1. LeBron will get the benefit of the whistle against anybody. That means when he plays the best players in the league- the Kobes, the Wades, the Dwights, he’s going to get the love of the officials regardless.

2. The Nuggets are the second-most talented team in the West, and are more talented than the Cleveland Cavaliers. On paper, they’re a better team than the Cavaliers. The trump card for the Cavs is LBJ+Referees, and both teams are incredibly gritty. All of the Nuggets bigs are feisty and gritty, and they’re more talented than the Cavs’ bigs, who are also feisty and gritty.

3. Carmelo Anthony is a better scorer than LeBron James. The Melo Man is amazing. He has a better, smoother jumper; he has a tremendous post-up game; he has a superior repertoire of moves that aid him in getting to the basket; and his footwork is superior.

This is not even debatable. Tell me that LeBron is a better player and I am forced to agree with you, begrudgingly. Tell me that LeBron is a better scorer and I am forced to contend with you, happily. That’s all there is to it.

LeBron’s improved his jump shot, and he is a quick, extremely built player. He drives to the basket by using speed and finishes around the rim by bull-dozing through his defenders with his huge body. That takes less skill than what an otherwise less physically gifted player has to utilize to score. So Melo, who has a tremendous body of his own, has to use more craft to get the job done, whereas LeBron can just plow through guys and get the calls that other guys don’t.

It’s obvious that I’m no LeBron fan. Thus, it was incredibly satisfying to watch his supposedly improved defensive prowess get exploited by Melo as he drained the game-winning jumper over LeBron, in LeBron’s house. At the height of the world’s love fest for LBJ, Melo showed why nobody should be put on a pedi-stool. Because on any given night, an over-looked beast like Melo can bust one in your eye and leave your fans angry and dissatisfied.

When he did that to LeBron last night, I felt happy and intensely satisfied.

Thanks, Melo.

Till next time.

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2 Responses to “LeBron James is Human After All”

  1. chappy81 Says:

    That was one hell of a game last night! I didn’t notice LBJ getting that many calls, but you could be right. I think it has to do with home court a little, since the refs obviously get caught up in the crowd noise from time to time. I agree though the Nuggets are better than the Cavs, because their squad is better when you look from top to bottom.

    Melo is the most underrated guy in the league. It’s funny how people already are claiming KD to be as good or better than Melo. I wouldn’t mind seeing a Cavs Nuggets finals!

  2. NBA Free Agency « An Epic Mess Says:

    […] you may very well know, I’m a huge LeBron James hater, as evidenced here, here, and here. That this entire summer is 70% LeBron-Watch 2010 doesn’t exactly tickle me. There […]

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