COMMENTARY | LeBron James recently won his fourth MVP Award after yet another season of unbelievable numbers and achievements.
The undisputed best player in the world averaged 26.8 points, 8 rebounds, 7.3 assists, 1.7 steals, and 0.9 blocks while leading the Miami Heat to the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference. To add to how ridiculously good this guy is, he did this all on 56.5-percent shooting from the field, including 40.6 percent from 3.
No signs point toward LeBron joining the Celtics at any point in the near future. Absolutely none whatsoever. The Boston Celtics do not like LeBron James, and LeBron James does not like the Boston Celtics. But, in a completely hypothetical situation, where would the team be with LeBron James leading the way?
You have to start by looking at how he would work alongside Rajon Rondo. As we've seen in Miami, having a point guard capable of spreading the floor such as Mario Chalmers is a huge asset for James. With the ball in LeBron's hands, Rondo would have to resort to becoming an off-the-ball slasher for much of the game. This certainly isn't one of Rondo's strengths, and you would have to have concerns about how this pairing would work out.
However, can you imagine a fastbreak led by Rondo with LeBron on the wing?
At shooting guard, the Celtics currently feature Avery Bradley, another inconsistent shooter who would not provide optimal spacing for James to operate. The team would likely look to find more minutes for shooters such as Courtney Lee and Jason Terry at this position who would open up the floor a little more. With Avery on the floor, a trio of Rondo, Bradley and James would create endless problems on the defensive ends for opponents. For an already tough defensive Boston squad, adding a defensive player of LeBron's caliber would be terrifying.
In Kevin Garnett, LeBron would be working with a power forward similar to his current teammate, Chris Bosh. Garnett would prove to be a better back-line defender than Bosh, perhaps allowing LeBron to become even more aggressive on the perimeter.
The Paul Pierce and LeBron James dynamic would certainly be interesting. Although he can definitely still play at a high level, it has become clear that Pierce can no longer consistently carry the offensive load that he used to. James would allow Pierce to play a lot more off the ball, and Pierce's improved 3-point shooting would become a huge asset for a passer like LeBron. In the brief periods where the machine-like LeBron needs some rest, Pierce is still plenty capable of having the offense run through him.
Of course, any team would get much better with the addition of LeBron James. In this case, however, some of the pieces aren't exactly great fits. A team already known for its gritty defense would undeniably be terrifying on that end of the floor after gaining an elite defender capable of guarding almost anyone on the court. On the offensive end, there would certainly be spacing issues with Rajon Rondo and Avery Bradley.
Regardless, it's tough to imagine that Boston, which was a 7-seed after losing Rondo for much of the season, would not be a top contender in the Eastern Conference.
When you have LeBron James, you have a very good chance. Particularly when you also have players like Rajon Rondo, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce.
Mark lives in the Boston area and has been covering the Celtics for 3 years. He has been featured on Fox Sports Yardbarker, Fox Sports, and Sports Illustrated "Hot Clicks", and has been published on Celtics 24/7, Bleacher Report, and Sports-Kings.
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- LeBron James
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- Rajon Rondo