“He’ll hit you in the face with the ball,” Bosh said. “Still have to get used to it. Sometimes there’s a little bit of juice on it some days, but it takes some getting used to. It’s just a part of chemistry building.
“He has such great vision, sometimes when you think he doesn’t see you, he does.”
James is ranked 14th in the NBA in assists per game (6.9), but No.1 among players at non-guard positions. Of the top 50 passers in the NBA, only four are forwards. Nicolas Batum (4.9 assists per game) of the Trail Blazers is ranked 39th, just ahead of Wade. Evan Turner of the 76ers is 46th at 4.5 assists per game. Kevin Durant of the Thunder is 47th at 4.4 assists per game.
In the Heat’s four games last week, which included three double-digit victories on the road, James averaged 9.3 assists per game. For his efforts, which also included 23.5 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.25 steals per game, not to mention a triple-double and three double-doubles, James was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week for an NBA record 42nd time.
The end result of James’ skill as a passer — when combined with his scoring ability and newly refined shooting touch — is a feeling of helplessness for defenses.
With the ball in his hands, James has the omnipotence to manipulate a basketball game. How else to explain leaving Wade, an All-Star, open under the basket?
How else do explain leaving Wade, one of the best players in the NBA, wide open under the basket for a layup?
“I’m reading the defense and sometimes my man might lose track, because all eyes are going to [James] at that time,” Wade said. “So the biggest thing is getting down there and finishing, because if he makes you the pass and you don’t finish it, he’s going to be very angry.”