LeBron James was finally able to get the monkey off his back last year by winning an NBA championship with the Miami Heat. He will never silence all of his critics, but there is much less to criticize LeBron for now compared to seven months ago. However, Brooklyn Nets forward Reggie Evans still feels that LeBron has yet to accomplish much. Why? Because of the lockout.
“It doesn’t prove nothing,” Evans told the NY Daily News when asked what it would mean to beat the reining NBA champs on Wednesday night. “That was a lockout season.”
Last I checked, the regular season was shorter for everyone. That means it was a level playing field. The Heat were probably fresher in the playoffs than they would have been if they played 82 games, but so was every other team in the league. They still overcame a 3-2 deficit against the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals and beat an incredibly athletic Oklahoma City Thunder team in the NBA Finals.
Evans wasn’t done there. He also said that defending LeBron is no different from defending Joe Johnson or even — brace yourselves — Andray Blatche.
“Our team is defending the Miami Heat,” Evans explained. “If our team has to defend one person, LeBron isn’t going to score nothing. LeBron is no different from Joe Johnson or Andray Blatche. No different. People need help (on defense). Some people don’t need help. Everybody has to be double-teamed, it doesn’t matter who you are. You just have to stop LeBron in transition.
“He’s quick in transition. If you look at Joe Johnson – Joe Johnson has two or three people trying to stop him. Whoever is guarding him.”
I get the point he’s trying to make, but Johnson is nowhere near as good in transition as LeBron. He’s also nowhere near as dominant a player. Evans can downplay it all he wants, but anytime you play the defending champions it’s a big game.
James scored 24 points and added nine rebounds and seven assists in Miami’s 105-85 win at Brooklyn. Evans had no points and six rebounds in nearly 20 minutes.
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