speaking again about my new hero (zach lowe), he wrote an article
today about two weird plays on lebron's part. here's one:
The [play] occurred with about 6:15 left in the third quarter. LeBron was guarding Jason Kidd, who was doing what he does now: standing at the top of the arc, acting as a safety net, while J.J. Barea and Dirk Nowitzki ran a pick-and-roll on the right side of the floor. LeBron parked himself at the left elbow and watched as the Heat snuffed out that pick-and-roll.
Barea swung the ball to Kidd. LeBron barely moved, even though the shot clock was in single digits. James took only a half-step toward Kidd, his feet barely crossing the top of the circle. Kidd had loads of space, and he went up for a three-pointer. LeBron responded with a close-out that would have been unworthy of his skills even on the second end of a back-to-back in March. He put both hands together but did not bring either of them above shoulder level. He did not leave his feet at all.
Then something weird happened: With the shot already in mid-flight, at the very top of its arc toward the rim, LeBron lunged an extra foot toward Kidd and extended his left hand toward the Dallas player’s head, as if face-guarding him. It looked like James was saving face, putting in a token effort. There is no point face-guarding a shooter when his shot is about to hit the rim.