Lebron James stated in an article on yahoo that Brad Stevens coaching ability might be a little overrated as they approached their Eastern Conference best 4 of 7 playoff series.
Lebron’s statement came about as there was a lot hype by some other NBA players, some media and some fans of criticism in that Stevens received no votes for the NBA Coaches vote for coach of the year. 8 of the 30 coaches received votes. 7 coaches whose teams made the playoff and even one for a coach whose team did not get to the playoffs. Many supporting Stevens thought he should have won that award, let alone not getting a single solitary vote from his 29 coaching peers.
While I know it is only 1 game and 1 game a series does not make, Lebron had to eat his own words or a little humble pie in his post game interview on ABC after the game, by praising Stevens defensive effort against him, indicating that Stevens coaching might have been a factor in his tough offensive night.
Stevens defense on the best player in the NBA held him to just 15 points on 5 of 16 shooting from the floor and committed 7 turnovers. 7 rebounds and 9 assists in 36 of the 48 minutes of the game in Bostons 25 point 108-83 win over the Cavaliers. Stevens rotated several players on Lebron and it wore him down physically. Smart, Brown, Morris and several other Celtics took turns guarding Lebron throughout the game so they had a fresh defender on him most of the time.
While Lebron was saying that Stevens hype was a little too much. Stevens didn’t let that bother him as he came up with the defensive strategy to slow down James. While this was going on Marcus Morris stated before the opening game of the series that after Kaiwi Lenoard, he, Morris was the second best defender of Lebron in the league and he was the one that had the most minutes guarding LeBron’s 36 minutes of action and Morris’s 34 minutes of play. Maybe both James and Morris should let their playing do the talking instead of their mouths. Morris won this battle (also scored 21 points and lead the C’s with 10 rebounds), but he could easily lose the next one as Lebron certainly will make the needed adjustments to overcome Steven’s designed defense to slow him down.
So it is easy to say the Stevens coached a lot better then Lebron played as he was averaging 34 points a game in the two previous series against the Indiana Pacers and the Toronto Raptors.
I wouldn’t look for the Celtic’s to have a repeat performance of the opening game win. This is a very important game for both teams. Of the two teams even though the Celtics are seeded 2nd and the Cavaliers are seeded 4th in the Eastern Conference playoffs the Cleveland team and Leborn have more pressure on them then the Celtics do in regards to the importance and need for a win in game 2.
It would really be nice if NBA players would walk the walk and let their actions speak louder that talk. They need to be reminded that like it or not they are still role models for millions of young basketball players in America. Granted their behavior is not as bad as the Golden Warriors Draymond Green’s antics, but if Lebron wants to be spoken of the same breath with Michael Jordan he needs to play more and talk less.
One of the biggest reasons that Michael Jordan is considered by many as the best player to ever play the game was because of his ability to be an outstanding role model and let his actions speak louder than any words he spoke. The same can be said for Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Karem, Bill Russell, the Big O, etc. as great players that they were they were also even better role models for the basketball youth of America and of the world.
To me his role modeling and his defensive ability helps rates him better than Lebron as the best player to ever live.
Just my opinion, and opinions are like noses everyone has one.
Or it could be just that it’s “just different basketball opinion strokes for different basketball opinions folks” or “what floats other basketball opinion boats, doesn’t necessarily float my basketball opinion boat” on this subject.