5 NBA Teams That Don't Want to See LeBron James in 2012-13
LeBron’s strong play has earned himself a Rookie of the Year award, eight All-Star selections, three MVPs and many comparisons to the greatest player ever, Michael Jordan.
Every head coach in the league wets his pants trying to figure out how to slow down King James, but some have to worry a little extra.
These are five teams James has really had his way with in the past.
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The first playoff performance LeBron James turned in that raised questions about his mental strength came against the Boston Celtics in 2010, when his favored Cleveland Cavaliers lost in six games to Boston.
But that was the exception, not the norm.
In 2008, as a No. 4 seed that finished 21 games behind the Celtics, LeBron’s Cavs took the eventual champions to seven games in the second round of the playoffs. James averaged 37.3 points over the final three games, including a 45-point performance in Game 7.
And, of course, there was his Game 6 clinic this past year in which he posted 45 points and 15 rebounds on 73.1 shooting to avoid elimination.
Overall, LeBron averaged 33.6 points and 11 rebounds per game on 52.7 percent shooting for the entire series.
For a team traditionally known for its defense, Boston certainly has had trouble containing James.
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His career numbers against the Washington Wizards aren’t too impressive, but LeBron James' postseason battles against Washington in the mid-2000s were classic.
LeBron’s Cavaliers knocked the Wizards out of the first round of the playoffs in three straight years from 2006 to 2008, including a sweep in 2007.
Brendon Haywood famously called out LeBron for his weak play, stirring up some laughs with his imitation of James. But in the end, only LeBron and his fans were laughing.
Portland Trail Blazers
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Statistically speaking, LeBron James has never dominated any other team like the Portland Trail Blazers.
His 30.1 career scoring average against Portland ranks only behind Utah’s and Boston’s allowance of 30.4.
His 9.7 rebounds per game is by far the most against any team. His 42.2 percent three-point shooting and 52.5 overall shooting against the Blazers are also career bests.
And only four teams have allowed more than the 7.5 assist average LeBron has against Portland.
He’s never played them in the postseason, but LeBron has certainly exerted his dominance over the Blazers.
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In his postseason career, LeBron James is 8-2 against the Chicago Bulls.
In 2010 with the Cavs, he averaged 31.8 points, 9.2 rebounds, 8.2 assists, 1.2 steals and 2.4 blocks per game on 56.7 percent shooting and an absurd 54.2 percent success rate from three-point land.
And don’t forget LeBron’s incredible defensive performance against 2011 MVP Derrick Rose. In the latter series, Rose shot 35 percent from the floor and turned the ball over 3.8 times per game, mostly thanks to James’ lockdown defense.
Golden State Warriors
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This one is no surprise, as defense in Golden State has long been optional.
Even if the Warriors did concentrate on defense instead of waiting to jack up threes all night, the likes of Dorell Wright, Corey Maggette and Kelenna Azubuike aren’t going to do much to slow down LeBron James.
Golden State is the only team that LeBron has averaged more than eight assists and eight rebounds against over the course of his career.
As if that’s not efficient enough, his three-point percentage and overall field-goal percentage against the Warriors (41.3 and 49.5, respectively) are both well above his career marks (33.1 and 48.3).