LeBron has been no stranger to criticism about his late-game decision-making. Even if it’s late in the game James has no problem passing up a good shot for an even better shot, which is the better basketball decision. In Saturday’s loss to the Chicago Bulls, LeBron was discontent with Matthew Dellavedova’s decision to shoot the game-wining three.
“One more swing, selfishly. I wish I had a look at it the way I was shooting the ball tonight, but Delly left it short,” James said postgame.
Delly caught the ball on a pass from Kevin Love and threw up an airball on a wide open three with the Cavs trailing the Bulls 104-102 in the late seconds of the contest. James has a point with his comments. Not only would you want the best player on the team taking the final shot, but it also makes it even more enticing when that player is 13/17 from the field and 4/5 from three.
However, to be fair to Dellavedova, he is the Cavaliers best three-point shooter at 41%. LeBron, at 30%, is having his second-worst shooting season from behind the arc and is one of six players in the league to have attempted 275+ threes and shot less than 31%.
The victory for the Bulls keeps them mathematically alive in the playoff picture while preventing the Cavs from securing the number one seed. Chicago sits just 2.5 games back of the Pacers for the eighth seed and would need a miracle to slide into the playoffs with two games left. In order to motivate his team, Hoiberg supposedly showed his team the famous scene from “Dumb and Dumber” when Jim Carrey said, “so you’re telling me there’s a chance?”
Unfortunately, the Pacers play the lowly Nets on Sunday and can eliminate the Bulls from contention with a win. A win that’s very likely.
Cleveland sits 2.5 games in front of Toronto for the one seed and can wrap it up as they take on Atlanta and Detroit to finish their season.