JellosJigglin wrote:The question remains to this day. And I do think it needs to be addressed if they're going to develop long term chemistry. It's only year one, but if the issue continues year after year, there will be internal problems.
There hasn't been a team with 2 alpha males since Kobe and Shaq. But even as a 19 year old, it was clear Kobe would be the one taking those shots, and Shaq was okay with it (for the most part). There was a clear pecking order in those situations, which I think helped their chemistry on the court. Kobe was their closer, and that became a part of the team's personality.
Personally, I'd want my closer to be a guy who's looking to create his own shot first, and a teammate's shot 2nd. That's why, for me at least, Wade should be the obvious closer on the Heat. I just don't think that closer mentality is in Lebron's DNA. He looks to facilitate as much as he looks for his own shot. That's great for the first 46 minutes of the game, but a late game assassin should be looking for the kill shot.
On the contrary, I the exact opposite is true. I think it's arguable that Lebron becomes a complete ball hog (if you will) in high pressure moments.
Let's take a look at his 82 games clutch numbers for this season. http://www.82games.com/1011/CSORT11.HTM
I'm going to focus on AST ratio, or the % of a players possessions that end in an assist. Formula: AST/(.44 x FTA + FGA + TOV + AST)
This year in the clutch, Lebron posted an AST ratio of 10.6%. On the other hand, his AST ratio for the season overall was 21.2%, or exactly TWICE of what his clutch ratio was.
Let's compare this with Kobe Bryant
Kobe's clutch AST ratio was 12.8%, and his overall was 15.4%, a much smaller difference. Kobe was a lot more likely to pass in close game situations than Lebron was, and his dropoff was not nearly as significant.
Now let's look at last season as well
In 09-10, Lebron's clutch AST ratio was 12.8%, as opposed to an overall AST ratio of 23.4%!
Say what you want about him, it doesn't seem that he's afraid to take the shots down the stretch, and his production justifies it. This isn't to say that he should be the "closer" over Wade, nor the opposite in that he is a "ball hog" in the clutch that should not be given the ball. All I'm pointing out is that for all the flak that he gets for not having the mentality to take the big shots, it seems that he's more prolific in taking them than he's given credit for.
I found an 82 games study from several years ago that shows "super-clutch" numbers (defined as 4th quarter or overtime, less than 2 minutes left, neither team ahead by more than 3 points) from the 07-08 season. The sample sizes are even smaller, however the same point holds true. James' AST ratio has dropped even further down to 9.5% from his overall 19.4% that season, and his scoring rate skyrockets further.