LeBron's new role: Point power forward
Updated: January 19, 2009, 11:25 AM ETBy Elena Bergeron | ESPN The Magazine
There's more to the Cavs' league-leading 31-7 record going into tonight's showdown at LA than LeBron's liberal baby-powder regimen. Thanks to an improved shooting core, this year Mike Brown has been able to sprinkle James in more at the power forward spot. There's a lot of reasons why LBJ at the four makes sense: his big body enables him to bang while a three-guard lineup exploits the backcourt match-ups; his improved jumper means the Cavs field four guys that could theoretically hit game-winning shots (making for a go-to end-of-game lineup); defenders inevitably collapse on LBJ, opening up the floor for shooters, etc. But none of them have held water without personnel that can, you know, shoot. With the Mo Williams trade and extended minutes for Delonte West, James has played the four more often -- and to greater effect -- than ever. Here's the proof: According to 82games.com, seven of the Cavs' most-used lineups feature LBJ at the 4. And their third most-frequent lineup (Gibson-West-Szczerbiak-James-Varejao) is the team's second most-effective in terms of net points.
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