|ESPN.com: NBA Playoffs 2013||[Print without images]|
MIAMI -- LeBron James thinks Michael Jordan's scouting report on him is wrong. And James keeps proving it.
As part of an extended interview with ESPN the Magazine in February, Jordan said he'd studied James' game and offered his strategy on how he would guard him.
|LeBron James went left, driving for the winning layup in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Indiana Pacers.|
"So if I have to guard him," Jordan told ESPN's Wright Thompson, "I'm gonna push him left so nine times out of 10, he's gonna shoot a jump shot. If he goes right, he's going to the hole and I can't stop him. So I ain't letting him go right."
That reached James' ears and, simply, he doesn't agree. Within days of the story coming out, James won a game by driving to his left and getting to the rim with 3.2 seconds left to beat the Orlando Magic for what then was then the Miami Heat's 16th consecutive victory.
James did it again Wednesday night, when he drove left as Indiana Pacers guard Paul George seemed to follow the Jordan scouting report to defend James from going right. This time, James got to the rim just ahead of the buzzer to deliver the game-winner with his left hand and put the Heat up 1-0 in the Eastern Conference finals.
"That theory is wrong, I guess," James said of the Jordan report.
James plays basketball right-handed but writes left-handed. Over the years he's gotten better going left, though at one time it was indeed considered one of the weaker parts of his game.According to Synergy Sports, when James went left on isolations this season he shot 56.3 percent (63-for-112) from the floor. When he went right, he shot 48.5 percent (47-for-97). Among the 52 players with at least 50 isolation drives going left, James had the best efficiency in the league. The data shows James drives left 51 percent and goes right 49 percent.
"Frank Walker, my first basketball coach, taught me how to make a left-handed layup," James said. "He wouldn't let me dribble the ball until I got the steps down to make a left-handed layup consistently. We used to do it before practice every day. He always told me I'd be a much better player if I could make shots with both hands."Information from ESPN.com's Tom Haberstroh was used in this report.