By now, you know all about his attributes, and might find a recitation of that skill set to be a bit of a bore.
Yes, you get it:
LeBron James can accomplish pretty much anything he wants on a basketball court.
But there’s one particular ability that sometimes gets overlooked, one that’s been in evidence more this season than in any other, and one that is leaving even more opponents at his mercy.
It’s his unpredictability.
It’s his penchant for rendering any scouting report outdated and inoperable, not only through his knack for reading, reacting and recalibrating in response to the resistance he’s encountering early, but also through his tendency to become fascinated on a given night with one particular aspect of his offensive arsenal, an aspect he might have ignored in a previous contest.
This seemed a good time to spotlight that, with the Rockets replacing the Bobcats as South Florida tourists tonight, and Houston’s defensive intentions undoubtedly altered by James’ interior destruction of Charlotte on Monday night.
James’ shot chart against the Bobcats looked like something that a Shaquille O’Neal might have produced, without a single attempt outside the paint, and with 13-of-14 accuracy in all, his only miss coming on a 4-foot jumper on which he felt he was fouled. He was 1-for-1 on dunks, 3-for-3 on hooks, 8-for-8 on layups and 1-for-2 on jumpers. He wasn’t just padding statistics; 13 of his 14 shots came when the margin was under five points one way or the other.
“It’s just what I wound up getting,” James said. “I didn’t plan it that way. I was just attacking when I could, got into the paint, and was able to make some shots.”
Erik Spoelstra offered a more extensive explanation, noting that with the Bobcats trying to take the ball out of James’ hands by trapping in the post, the star forward relocated to the top of the floor, where he would be harder to corral off the dribble: “He had such a big size advantage, and he felt it, he read it.”