Boulware- If LeBron James was going to average a triple-double, he would have done it in Cleveland. LeBron’s running mates will ultimately lead to his rise to a championship and his downfall of individual accomplishments. It will be a reverse effect from Cleveland where he won individual awards like MVP but no titles. Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh will lead to lower stats for the King.
Ribak- What makes him have less of a chance to do so in Miami? Although Wade and Bosh will be alongside of him, his biggest drop in production will be his points per game average. James will be directing traffic at the point guard position more than he did in Cleveland, and should be able to grab close to 10 boards with an undersized front court in Miami.
Boulware- James is playing with the best rebounder he has ever played with. Rebounds in the double digits would be hard to come by on a nightly basis. He played with an aging and much less mobile Shaq and Zydrunas Ilgauskas only averaged four to five rebounds in Cleveland’s most dominant years. If he couldn’t average 10-plus with average big man rebounders, then it’s easy to doubt he can with an even great rebounder in Bosh.
Ribak- Anderson Varejao averaged 7.5 RPG last season, and Shaq had just under seven last year when James logged more than seven RPG. The Cavaliers also had Antawn Jamison for 25 games during last season. The Heat have Bosh and Joel Anthony to collect the majority of rebounds with Udonis Haslem contributing as well. James will record career-highs in RPG, especially because he will be playing the point-guard role, which should enable him to pick up a few more easy buckets per contest.
Boulware- Overall, I see this Heat team getting more rebounds up-front than what LeBron is used to. In addition to that, it is not even convincing that James is the dominant player. I don't think the ball will be in his hands as much as he is used to, and certainly to get triple-doubles consistently he needs the ball.
Ribak- Why won’t the ball be in his hands as much as he is used to? The Miami Heat are James’ team now and he should be able to rack up the assists and rebounds just like he did in Cleveland, except now he won’t be forced to score 30 PPG.
Boulware- An age old adage is possession is nine-tenths of the law. The laws are no different in basketball. Possessions rule all, and this year will be the fewest numbers of possessions LeBron has ever had in his career. He will certainly have the ball in his hands often but less than he did in Cleveland because the laws of possession are much different when you cross the border into Miami Wade County. James is the new kid in town so at the start of the season it’s Wade’s team until LeBron shows the initiative to make it his own.
Ribak- You just proved my point. Fewer possessions will mean less points for James. When the ball is in his hands he will be distributing it to Wade more than half the time or Mike Miller and Mario Chalmers standing around the three-point arc.
Boulware- I believe in the assist stat just not in the rebounding. I’m not sure assists will be in double digits, but it will certainly be very high. I believe James is perfectly capable of averaging a triple-double based off his talent but I don’t believe this is a team that will be designed for him to do so. The achievements are shared. Wade gets points, James gets assists and Bosh will get the rebounds. I believe he gets close to averaging a double double at best.