Links To The Present: January 26th, 2010

January 26th, 2010 by John Krolik

Just a few links today:

-Windhorst with an article saying that the Cavs are through the tough part of their schedule with flying colors, and that the schedule gets significantly easier from here on out.

-Empty The Bench picks up where Sam Smith left off on the issue of LeBron’s low foul totals. The author uses a chi-square test to determine that there’s virtually no chance that LeBron’s low foul totals are a product of random chance, and goes from there to superstar treatment.

Here’s how the author describes LeBron’s defense:

“[The reason for the low foul totals is] not so obvious with LeBron, considering he’s regularly guarding extremely dynamic players who routinely go to the line, and he’s often banging with the big boys underneath, where a majority of fouls are called.”

I would disagree with this assessment. LeBron doesn’t guard the other team’s best scorer until crunch-time of games, if at all. And he almost never guards big men. In fact, fear of foul trouble is likely one of the major reasons that LeBron logs less minutes at the four than most Cavs fans believe he should. LeBron spends the vast majority of his time defending a non-threat on the perimeter, leaving him free to roam for weak-side blocks or steals.

I wouldn’t say this if I didn’t believe it, but LeBron is rarely involved in contact under the hoop. Most of his blocks are coming from the weak-side with  great deal of separation between him and the man he’s blocking. LeBron prefers to use his length and leaping ability to contest shots rather than try to body up, and that’s the biggest reason his foul totals are low.

Also, a commenter pointed out that if foul totals are adjusted on a per-48 minute level, LeBron fouls less than Kevin Durant, Joe Johnson, and Brandon Roy. It certainly seems odd that a player who makes the kind of defensive impact LeBron commits so few fouls, especially since LeBron’s such a physical force. It’s easy to see how someone who doesn’t watch a ton of Cavs games could come to the conclusion that something fishy could be going on. But in my opinion, there are lots of factors other than superstar treatment that explain LeBron’s low foul totals.

-Brett Pollakoff, writing for FanHouse, on the conclusion of last night’s Cavs-Heat game.

-David Berri says LeBron has produced as many wins by himself as the Pacers, Timberwolves, and Nets have as teams.

Sounds ridiculous, but here’s LeBron with a 9-man rotation of players who have produced 0 or less wins this season by Berri’s formula:

C: Zydrunas Ilgauskas (winces)

PF: Al Harrington

SF: LeBron

SG: JR Smith

PG: DJ Augustin

6th Man: Chris Douglas-Roberts (Slightly above 0, but only slightly)

7th: Ronny Turiaf

8th: Mehmet Okur

9th: Jonny Flynn

I think that team would have at least 10 or so wins by this point, don’t you?

-Shaun Powell of NBA.com with an article on LeBron. As commenter BradleyH puts it, “It’s about [LeBron] being The King.”

Alright guys, that’s all for now. Until later.