LeBron James isn’t slowing down in terms of production. Foot speed, however, is a different story — and one the Cleveland Cavaliers star isn’t willing to believe.
Jason Lloyd of The Athletic brought it to LeBron’s attention that he’s the slowest player in the Eastern Conference Finals. The response says it all, though.
“That’s the dumbest s— I’ve ever heard. That tracking bulls— can kiss my ass. The slowest guy? Get out of here.”
While humorous, the NBA.com numbers don’t lie. His average speed of 3.70 miles per hour is the lowest in the current series against the Boston Celtics.
And there’s a perfectly sound explanation for it, too.
James is a maestro on the offensive end, but he’s not somebody who typically works to create shots off the ball. That’s more of Kyle Korver or J.R. Smith, for example.
In this particular round, LeBron spends a majority of his time searching for mismatches, then attacking. And on defense, the Cavs sometimes try to hide him to conserve energy. The result is less movement in 40-plus minutes and a slow average speed.
So, this is a classic case of the numbers being factual yet needing context. To say LeBron, as a producer, is slowing down would be obviously false. His effort, particularly on offense, is never a question.
In a literal explanation, he is slowing down. But the Cavs are thrilled to have a slow player averaging 32 points and nine assists in the Eastern Conference Finals.