James already shows ominous signs of wear

Discussion in 'Sports Central' started by Purple Haze, Mar 8, 2006.

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  1. Purple Haze

    Purple Haze pop warner hof

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    Are Cavs ruining their No. 1 asset?

    CLEVELAND—If you watch the nightly highlight reels and listen to the hype, you'd think LeBron James's ascendance to basketball supremacy is a gimme, like Tiger Woods from six feet for the trophy.

    James, the Cleveland Cavaliers wunderkind, is the best 21-year-old in the game's history, to be sure. He's already among the NBA's top handful of players at the same age Michael Jordan was a college junior. And he's on course to lead his team to the playoffs in his third season, which is something Jordan didn't do until he was four years older. But James, as the long season winds on, also looks en route to exhaustion.

    He has played more minutes than any NBA player this year, and his workload only gets heavier. He's averaging 42.5 minutes a game, but he played 44.6 minutes a night in February. And heading into a back-to-back pair of games with the Raptors that began last night in Cleveland and continues tonight in Toronto, James was averaging 46 minutes per game in three outings in March.

    When James tweaked his ankle last night, he sat out the first quarter's final 27 seconds and a whopping 2:24 of the second quarter. But those rests — and a one-minute breather in the fourth quarter of the Cavs' 106-99 win — were his only breaks. So maybe the question is: When will he break?

    Sure, he's a physical marvel with a linebacker's body and a power lifter's strength. But consider this: Jordan was a physical freak lauded for his endurance and durability. But even in His Airness's most labour-intensive season he averaged 40.4 minutes a game, up from 38.3 minutes for his career.

    Butch Carter, the former Raptors coach who presided over the rise of a bound-for-greatness young all-star named Vince Carter, has seen this trend before. In an interview last year the coach linked Vinsanity's decline to overuse.

    "I think the downfall of Vince was the year after I left and they started playing him 46, 47 minutes a game," he said. "It was stupidity, absolute stupidity. Young horses, 1-year-olds, don't race in the Kentucky Derby."

    The former coach, in the same interview, went on to observe that he saw as the same trend developing with James in Cleveland.

    Donyell Marshall, the former Raptor who is now James's teammate, doesn't necessarily disagree.

    "It doesn't matter if you're 21, 24 or 35 — 44 or 45 minutes a night is going to wear on you," said Marshall last night. "Especially a guy who is going to play on the (U.S. national team) for the next three (summers)."

    James has a standby response for matters of minutes: "I don't get tired," he says. But he does. He has been uncharacteristically horrible in fourth quarters of late. A couple of weeks back James played all but 14 seconds of a home game against the Washington Wizards and missed all eight of his second-half field-goal attempts. In a rare moment, he was briefly booed by the Cleveland crowd.

    Last night at Quicken Loans Arena James — who typically scorches the defensively pitiful Raptors — looked sluggish in a 5-for-17 shooting performance. He scored just 17 points and played 44 minutes. Then again, he added 12 rebounds and eight assists. But even his coach has conceded concern.

    "I am concerned about his minutes? Do I wish I was doing a better job with that? Yes," said Mike Brown, the Cleveland coach. "I think about it all the time. But it's one of those things where he's young, I need him to play, we need him to play. And he's going to play if I feel the need.

    You can't necessarily expect Brown to ration James's minutes. He's a rookie coach who might not become a sophomore coach if he doesn't win now.

    It's management and ownership — the guys responsible for the long-term health of the assets — who need to step in. But again, the Cavs have a rookie general manager in Danny Ferry and a neophyte owner in Dan Gilbert, both of whom want success in short order. They can only hope they don't pay for today's gains with down-the-road pain.
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    What ya'll think?
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  2. DannyC

    DannyC Stay golden, pony boy.

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    one more way for people to try to find imperfections amongst greatness.

    smh
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  3. Brahman

    Brahman Mel Van Peebles

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    ^ wtf?

    i don't see how you can view this article as a knock on james or an attempt to find an "imperfection" with him

    it's a legitimate concern that's being brought to attention for the benefit of prolonging james' career
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  4. Iceodu921

    Iceodu921 Resident Sports Genius

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    it is a good point i always wondered how these str8 outof high school kids would do after starting 40 mins from their first game.
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  5. Klas~Sick

    Klas~Sick New Member

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    over 40 mpg is a lotta minutos, too bad hughes in gone, damon n donyell arent helpin like everyone thought they would, hopefully next season hughes'll be healthy(which he will) and he'll have more help, he has to play 42 mpg, i am pretty fuckin shocked damon turned out to be this bad, 6ppg, 1rb, 1ast, 37fg%
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  6. Cigma

    Cigma Maxwell's Demon

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    Damon with game winner tonight.

    Fatigue would account for Lebron's 4th quarter lapses, especially when he's trying to do everything.

    Burning him out is a very real concern, especially with him playing for the olympic squad as Marshall said.
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  7. Brahman

    Brahman Mel Van Peebles

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    what also hasn't been mentioned is the fact that his physical prime will likely come sooner than and won't last as long as most others

    his muscles and bones were full-grown earlier, and fully grown muscles and bones break down faster than ones that are still growing into their own
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  8. G-Rob da great

    G-Rob da great Fear moondog.

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    Mike Brown is an idiot as far as the rotation goes.

    He's even worse than Paul Silas was- he gives up on players too quickly and sticks with the "hot hand" far too long.

    It's not just with LeBron, it's with Z, Sasha.. Flip.. and so-on.

    Sasha went 4 games without seeing the floor. WTF. As soon as acquired Flip from Seattle Mike Brown seemed to erase a guy completely from the rotation that played so well for us during that 11-2 stretch (even though we followed it up with a losing streak).

    He needs to do a better job of managing not only LeBron, but the rest of the team.
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  9. G-Rob da great

    G-Rob da great Fear moondog.

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    There's about 80 LeBron threads on the board (none created by yours truly).. lol, so I could post this in any of them, but look at what I found today while I was cleaning:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    One of the best days in the 59 year history of the National Basketball Association. [funny]

    I didn't even know I still had that old paper.

    That is a special "fuck you" to that small group that said I jumped on the Cavs bandwagon after their big offseason last summer though.
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  10. Klas~Sick

    Klas~Sick New Member

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    if i had to guard lebron james 3 years from now, DNPs gallore
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  11. Nitsuj™

    Nitsuj™ We Are The Resistance

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    yeah they need to chill on his minutes just a bit
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  12. Hardkore

    Hardkore Blunts@TheBeach

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    if hughes was healthy and jones played the same way he did in miami, they wouldn't need lebron on the floor so much.

    lebron on the cavs is like kobe on the lakers, only lebron has zydrunas and drew gooden.
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  13. Brahman

    Brahman Mel Van Peebles

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    kobe benefits from the all-around brilliance of lamar odom

    that's been on full display in this late playoff push
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