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LeBron may not be able to save the Lakers



<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "A weekly dive into the hottest topics in the NBA."data-reactid =" 16 ">A weekly dive into the hottest topics in the NBA.

Take One: LeBron James has bitten more than he can chew

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "Coaching problems, drama on the deadline, effortless defense, lack of urgency, embarrassing flares – the Los Angeles Lakers have had it all, but LeBron's Cleveland Cavaliers too. "Data-reactid =" 18 "> Coaching accidents, trading deadline drama, effortless defense, lack of emergencies, embarrassing flares – the Los Angeles Lakers have had it all, but LeBron's Cleveland Cavaliers too.

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "It takes the difficult way and then makes it harder – Do you remember when he under-told Kevin Love? – Because he could not live any story. It should have been his history, he exploits the power of his talent to redo franchises in his image. "data-reactid =" 19 "> It takes the difficult way, then makes it more difficult – Do you remember when he under-told Kevin Love? – Because he could not live any story. It should have been his history, he exploits the power of his talent to redo franchises in his image.

It is less a right than a rational opportunism. Like all great corporate players, the best player in the world can be inflated – he can take possession of his possessions and want his team to negotiate against Anthony Davis – as long as he closes it with a championship. We all have the right to harvest what we are worth.

In his 16th season, LeBron James finally slows down. (Getty)

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "But this season the books have stopped adding up The Lakers, 30 to 31 after defeating the Pelicans on Wednesday night, have a 22% chance of qualifying for the playoffs, according to FiveThirtyEight's projection model. LeBron can no longer do what he wants and hold a final at the same time. Not in the West. Not in 16th grade. It's not the only reason for the discomfort – the Lakers, after all, are 6 to 12 without him – but he could be eliminated without that: LeBron is no longer the best, most enduring player in the world. world. If it did, the Lakers would be firmly in position for the series and each schism would be under water under the bridge. "Data-reactid =" 41 "> But this season, the books have stopped accumulating.The Lakers, 30-31 after beating According to the projection model of FiveThirtyEight, Wednesday Night Pelicans have 22% of chances to play in the playoffs, LeBron can not do what he likes and hold a final at the same time, not in the West, not in the 16th.This is not the only reason for the discomfort – the Lakers, after all, are 6 to 12 without him – but he could be eliminated without it: LeBron is no longer the best player, the most durable in the world., the Lakers would be firmly in position for the playoffs, and every schism would be under the bridge.

(Yahoo illustration / Amber Matsumoto)

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "But it is not and they are and LeBron reacted by doing a complete baby-boomer, trying to build an empire on a faulty foundation, and accusing the children of the collapsing walls. "He wondered aloud whether his teammates were too comfortable to lose Defensive lowlight coils accumulate online. Saturday, the most dynamic basketball mogul richly pontified"Is basketball the most important thing while we do this? Is this the most important thing in your life at this time? If you have the impression of giving everything to the game, you can do something else. But if you feel that you are not giving as much as you can, you can not focus on anything else. "Data-reactid =" 62 "> But this is not and it is not the case, and LeBron reacted by refueling baby boomer, trying to build an empire on a defective foundation and accusing Le He wondered if his team-mates were too comfortable to lose, as his defensive line of defense was coming in. On Saturday, the most dynamic nabob in basketball was so richly pontificated. basketball is the essential Is it the most important thing in your life at that time? If you feel that you give everything for the game, you can do something else. But if you feel as if in giving as much as you can, then you can not focus on anything else.It's just … my personal take.

The young Lakers talent has been tested all season. But now the burden is on LeBron. He will either prove it worthwhile and lead the Lakers to the playoffs, or be forced to adapt to a world that will stop complying with all his wishes – or, in other words, grow old with thanks.

Take Two: Dwyane Wade's winning goal against the Warriors echoes his best qualities

<p class = "canvas-atom-canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "It's one thing to live a dream. to relive his greatest climax, then to relive it the same day a year later, as if February 27 were made to be a break in the cycle of human activity, a day meant only to Dwyane Wade to sit on the same platform in front of the same supporters of the American Airlines Arena and shout, "This is my house!" "data-reactid =" 69 "> C is another thing to live It's another way to relive its climax, then relive it the same day a year later, as if February 27 was a break in the cycle of human activity, a day reserved to Dwyane Wade perch on the same platform in front of the same fans of the American Airlines Arena and shout: "It's my home!

Unlikely? Yes. Somehow appropriate? Totally. That's why it was vintage D-Wade. Think of what you will remember. Of course, watching him climb the ladder and post men a foot taller than him was cool. Flash was cool.

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "But the mark of Wade's career will be the only one of its kind." improbability of his greatest moments, when fate or situation or body stress would make you think that he could not gather this one, as the running 20 feet who beat Chicago; the moment he accidentally dropped the balloon, picked it up and nailed a three to beat the nets; the hopper leaning forward he hit after hitting Paul George and try to make a mistake. These moments made that luck seemed like a non-perishable resource only belonging to him, cultivating the feeling that if he could not win a victory, he would like it. "Data-reactid =" 71 "> But the hallmark of Wade's career will be the improbability of his greatest moments, when fate or situation or bodily stress would make you think he would not have no chance to do it, like the 20-foot runner who beat Chicago; the moment he accidentally dropped the ball, caught he hit a three-shot to defeat the Nets, the jumper leaned forward; he hit after being bumped into Paul George and attempting to trace a fault.It is those moments where luck seemed to be a non-perishable resource belonging only to him, cultivating a feeling that he could not win a victory, he would like it.

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "And that's what happened against the Warriors. First, he tipped the ball into the lane and almost lost it before sending it back to the Dion server. Then Jordan Bell approached the 3-point line and blocked it, throwing the ball into Wade's hands. The next part, like most of Wade's career, defies explanation. "Data-reactid =" 76 "> And that's what happened against the Warriors.He first blew the ball in the hallway and almost lost it Before coming back to Dion, Jordan Bell then went up to the 3-point line and blocked it, knocking over the ball in Wade's hands.The next part, as well as most of the career of Wade, defies any explanation.

Take Three: The game of Otto Porter Jr. has allowed Lauri Markkanen to unlock his match

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "On the day of maturity, the Bulls exchanged Jabari Parker, Bobby Portis and a 2023 second-round pick at the Wizards for Otto Porter Jr., the lean Washington swingman with a contract that few teams wanted. But the Bulls – who will soon attract more free agents – have done so and are benefiting on many levels. "Data-reactid =" 82 "> On the day, the Bulls traded Jabari Parker, Bobby Portis and a Witch-based second round pick in 2023 for Otto Porter Jr., Washington's skinny swingman with a contract that few Teams wanted to – but the Bulls – who are not going to attract free agents from so soon – have done it, and they benefit from it several levels.

Porter himself – 18.1 points on 3-point shots to 51.5% – and then there are the minutes and angles that the exchange scored for Lauri Markkanen to play alongside him. Markkanen, a Finnish sniper, has made some unavoidable comparisons with Dirk Nowitzki, but he is really the big substitute for Klay Thompson, one of the most elite players in the league: the most l? team is efficient, the more effective it is. is.

And since trading for Porter, the Bulls in reconstruction have gone to 5-4. Each win reduces the odds of getting Zion Williamson, but this gives them a window into a more certain future: the No. 7 pick in the 2017 draft has averaged 26 points and 12.2 rebounds in February.

Markkanen is an elite shooter with a quick, almost unblockable release. He catches and fires six shots three per game and connects on 39.6% of them – numbers that force opponents to stick like glue. Most shooters are most effective when the scouting report catches them. The reputation beats the percentages. But before Porter arrived, Markkanen's teammates did not capitalize on the space he had created.

Switching to Markkanen's diffuse selections was not negotiable for the opponents as his team mates were not likely to punish maladjustments. But the trade paved the way for Zach LaVine and gave Chicago a semi-dynamic scorer at Porter. The teams now play more honestly with Markkanen's choice and his dynamism results. It is a threat to pop, with a quick release and a fake fake developing. On the roll, he slips around the painting with an explosion, an instinct, a respectable skill in the handling of the ball and a touch of shooter. And the more Chicago improves, the better it will improve.

Take Four: The MVP slips out of James Harden's hands. It's great for Houston

In the last 10 games, Giannis Antetokounmpo averaged 29.8 points, 12.9 rebounds and 6.5 assists, easing Harden's MVP. The case of Antetokounmpo is irreproachable: the system of Bucks stems from his abilities, and they broke the record of the record of the NBA.

Factor of fatigue and sympathy of voters, the gap becomes considerable. Despite public advocacy for the award, Harden does not seem to intend to close it.

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "After scoring 30 points or more for 32 consecutive games, The Harden series ended on Monday against the Atlanta Hawks. It was his second match with Clint Capela (who, moreover, pulls more in the restricted area outside of anyone who does not bear the name of Giannis) after the return of the major man. In addition, Chris Paul is back and shares the burden. "Data-reactid =" 98 "> After scoring 30 points or more for 32 consecutive matches, the Harden series is over Monday against the Atlanta Hawks, the ground with Clint Capela (who either by the way, does more shots in the restricted area located outside of someone who does not call Giannis) after the return of the big man, Chris Paul is back too and they share the burden.

The change could not have arrived at a more perfect time for Houston. Hardly afloat in January, the Rockets surpass their opponents by six points for 100 possessions. Defensively, they are engaged, maybe no more than – you heard it – Harden, who leads the NBA in deflection and remains a steel trap on the switches.

Since Michael Jordan's retirement, only five players have added the most valuable player and the Larry O'Brien Trophy to their gear collections in the same season. At this point in the season, Harden should only worry about filling the cup and putting pressure on it.

Take Five: If you can not beat, join them

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "Of all the cunning and inefficiencies created by James Harden manipulated to get free points at the line, few are as feared – as indecent, really – as arm lock, in which a player holds the ball with one hand and blocks his defender 's arm from the other, literally forcing his opponent to jostle him. "data-reactid =" 102 "> Of all the twisted misses and tricks of James Harden manipulated to get free points on the line, few are as feared – as indecent as the arm lock, in which a player cradles the ball with one hand and blocks his arms with his defender with the other, literally forcing his opponent to jostle him.

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "The discomfort, according to hard science, spreads. A few minutes apart, Monday night, in separate arenas, two players rushed on referees at critical moments. "Data-reactid =" 103 "> The discomfort, according to hard science, spreads. Monday night, just minutes apart, in two separate arenas, two players escaped against each other in critical moments.

Devin Booker of Phoenix saw Josh Richardson try to steal an inside pass before making his way 17 seconds from the end of the match, he put his arm under Richardson's armpit and fell to the ground. , giving the impression that Richardson was reaching out. fly and push on Booker. The Heat were in the penalty, so Booker was allowed to play the game on the free throw line.

Then, as the Lakers followed the two-point Grizzlies at the last minute, Mike Conley attacked Los Angeles's Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, clinging to his arm and throwing a wild float that grazed the edge of the flange. whistled. Memphis increased his lead to four and finally won the match.

Call it an art if you insist, but it's a naughty one.

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