It’s natural to think that LeBron James should be starting at small or power forward for the Cleveland Cavaliers. His 6-foot-8, 250-pound frame screams, “dominant power forward coming through”!
But you have to look past the size and strength James possesses. His gifts are far greater than just brute strength and bodying other team’s big men. He has all the power to do that, but to really capture LeBron’s full potential you must start him at point guard.
It sounds crazy, but Tyronn Lue decided to experiment with that theory on Tuesday night and it paid dividends. James recorded a double-double, scoring 30 points with 12 assists, in the Cav’s 119-112 win over the Bulls.
The following night, James started at point guard again and recorded a triple-double. His first at the point guard position.
James may have the greatest floor vision ever by a basketball player in the history of the game. He makes passes that would make Harry Houdini utter ‘oh my god’.
So why wouldn’t a team just start the ball off in James’ hands if he has that ability to dish the rock? It’s actually surprising that he doesn’t start at the point more often.
Granted, we have seen James take over in games when he needs to. But this article is strictly making the case as to why he should be the point guard every single time he is on the court. Not splitting time with Dywayne Wade or Isaiah Thomas. No, he should have full control of the ball and should be the one setting up each possession.
We all know James’ basketball IQ is off the charts, and he didn’t waver when he was asked about starting at point guard and knowing how to set the table for the Cavs.
“Ever since I was a kid, I’ve always learned every position on the floor,” James said. “When I started playing ball, for some odd reason, I could learn every single position on the floor all at one time: the point guard, shooting guard, small forward, power forward and center.
“And [I] know all the plays, what they’re doing and what’s the reads. And to this day, obviously, still if … Coach slides me to the 1, I know every set. If he slides me to the 5, I know the 5. I know the 4, I know the 3, I know the 2. I know every single play in every single position, so it makes the job a lot easier for me because I know where I should be and what my teammates should do.”
James now has seven games of 20-plus points and 10-plus assists in 48 games started at point guard in the NBA.
Not only can he facilitate the ball, but when James starts at the point he has the ability to score at will. He can drive and designate plays so that he can isolate himself and create favorable one-on-one match-ups. His 30 points proved he can find a balance between dishing the ball out and keeping it if he sees an opportunity to score.
Lue should continue to see if this experiment can work over a long period of time. There’s a pretty good chance that LeBron could turn into a walking double-double machine if he continues to start at guard for the Cavaliers.