LeBron James Played Superb Defense on Derrick Rose

Derrick Rose had a sub-par series in the Eastern Conference Finals against the Miami Heat. Though he averaged 23.4 points per game for the series, he needed 24 shots per game to get there, and he only shot 35% on field goals and a brutal 23.3% on threes. Rose improved his outside jumper in the offseason to add an extra dimension to his game, which helped him win the MVP award. Though you could argue that Rose was off for the series, the unbiased fan has to give proper credit to Miami’s defense for shutting down the MVP.

At the end of Game 4 and Game 5, LeBron James switched onto Derrick Rose to play one-on-one defense. He kept the Bulls point guard on the perimeter and forced him into contested jump shots. Per ESPN Stats & Info via SB Nation Chicago, Rose went 1-for-15 (6.67%) with three turnovers when guarded by LeBron. LeBron held Rose to the lowest shooting percentage of anyone who guarded him at least five plays during the playoffs.

While any viewer can see that LeBron caught fire at the end of Game 5 and recognize that he’s truly “closed out” several games these playoffs, it takes a much more discerning eye to realize how good his defense was. LeBron is not just an elite one-way player; He may also be the best defensive player in the game. The mind-blowing stats prove it.

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  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_AKR3VC6JIMLNPFUY5KJQTP635A Jack

    A little nitpicky but I can’t agree with “best defensive player in the game”. Maybe best perimeter defensive player, but no defender changes the way an offense operates the way Dwight Howard does.

    Still, LeBron did do a great job defensively on Rose.

  • Gene

    LeBron is a total stud and a great all around basketball player.  He made one huge mistake with “The Decision” television fiasco.  That should not be held against him.  He is simply the best all around player in the game by a wide margin.

  • http://larrybrownsports.com Larry Brown

    Best perimeter defender. I also think Dwight has an easier job. It’s not like he’s guarding Olajuwon in the middle, the other centers aren’t very good offensively. LeBron had to stop Rose. That’s impressive.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_AKR3VC6JIMLNPFUY5KJQTP635A Jack

    While I agree with your comment on the centers, if you take Dwight away there is no defense on that team. Turkoglu is a stiff on defense, and Dwight does not have a reasonably-sized power forward down low. The only deterrent to players driving the lane on the Magic 2’s and 3’s is Dwight patrolling the lane. More than just the shots he rejects, he changes shots and discourages drives.

  • Anonymous

    Awesome play by LeBron he did a great job against Derrick Rose.