Before getting into the search for the Bron who averaged 30-8-8 in February, looking like a full peer of Michael Jordan, I’d like to make clear that I have nothing against the guy.
This is important with so many fans who hate Bron, and so many press people who alternate between savaging him when he loses and prostrating themselves before him when he wins. Even if it means savaging him Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday and prostrating themselves Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
I’m actually an arch defender – one of the few, other than Bron’s blood relatives or his entourage – who thought a sore elbow, rather than a faint heart, was the problem in the 2010 loss to Boston; wasn’t offended when he went to Miami; and never thought he had a point guard mentality or lacked killer instinct.
But I think something’s wrong now.
If he was lionized after Game 2, it was only because the Heat won.
Otherwise, he’d have been psychoanalyzed or left for dead with an 18-7-7 line, good as that would be for mortals, since he’s not one.
What I see is a Bron who’s loath to go into the post and not very good when he does, confining himself to left-handed counter-moves or passing out.
Or, if he’s running his pet pick-and-roll from the top, getting into the lane but kicking the ball out at the first sign of trouble.
At Bron’s super-elite level, you don’t see a lot of concessions.
Jordan played in the post his last three seasons with the Bulls, when they won 72, 69 and 62 games and captured three titles. Bigger, tougher teams than any around today couldn’t run him out of there.
Nor have we ever seen Kobe Bryant make a U-turn at the sight of Roy Hibbert, as Bron did in the Eastern Conference finals.
Late in Game 6, a rout by the Pacers, Bron came off a pick-and-roll cleanly with nothing but Hibbert between him and the hoop. And passed.
In the same situation, Bryant would have climbed Hibbert if he needed crampons and a rope. Or crossed over on him. Or reverse-pivoted on him. One way or another, Kobe would have taken him on because win, lose or blow out his Achilles, that’s what Kobe does.
It’s not what Bron is doing now, which is why he’s averaging 17.5 points and shooting 42.4 percent in the Finals.
1. He’s not going into the post because he’s not very good down there. Despite statistics suggesting he is great in the post – or actually efficient, as opposed to scoring a lot – he has no go-to move, a right-handed jump hook or a Jordan-style turnaround jumper. Nor does he often do the classic Kevin McHale go-one-way-come-back-the-other-and-step-through.
Pages: 1 2