Wednesday, April 26, 2006

So maye he's just Prince James right now

Well, after a big debut against the Wizards, LeBron was brought back to earth in last night's game. He still had a double double, but one of the categories was turnovers, so that's not a good thing. This wasn't entirely unexpected, though. I mean, you had to know the Wizards were gonna make stopping him their focus after he dominated them in Game 1. So, a new scheme to stop him, plus some hard fouls, plus the fact that he's 21 and playing in his first playoff series, equaled him having a bad game. It's interesting, though, that a 26-point performance is considered a bad game.

It's an interesting situation with LeBron. There's pretty much two sets of expectations that you have to have for him. On the one hand, there's certain things we expect of one of the best players in the league. He has to make his teammates better, make the big shots, and kick it up a level in the playoffs, for example. These are things he's started to do, but he gets criticized for not doing more of them.

But these superstar expectations are tempered by the expectations we have for a guy who's 21 years old. This guy we expect to have an off game, to make some bad passes, to get nervous, to still need to put a lot of work in on his game.

So by one set of expectations, we compare LeBron to Jordan, Bird, Magic, and so on, because he's one of the best in the league. But by the other set of expectations, we compare him to J.J. Redick, Adam Morrison, Andrew Bogut, and Chris Paul, because these are guys his own age, guys who have been playing basketball as long as he has. So it's important to show a little patience with the guy. We probably shouldn't expect him to save the city of Cleveland for at least a few more years. And he can't run for president until 2020, so he's probably not gonna save the country before then.

Oh, and Steve Nash winning the MVP? Ridiculous. The guy was no better than fourth on just about every list I saw, including my own.

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