NBA All-Star Recap: West 152, East 149- LeBron Still Chokes in the Clutch

NBA All-Star Recap: West 152, East 149- LeBron Still Chokes in the Clutch
Photo courtesy NBA

The 2012 NBA All-Star game was much like any other NBA game- not a lot of defense until late in the 4th quarter, and LeBron James choking in the clutch.

With the East trailing by two in the final seconds, Deron Williams missed a three that could have won the game. But a wild scramble on the rebound put the ball in James' hands with 6 seconds left.

But instead of taking a game-winning three- since he was 6/8 from behind the arc in the game- LeBron made a horrible, stupid cross-court pass that was easily intercepted, allowing the West to hold on for the win.

Not a big deal, because nobody cares who wins this game. But it's always nice to see a no-class moron like LeBron fail, at any time in any situation.

I don't care to talk about the exhibition, it was your normal All-Star game. Deng barely played (which was great with his bad wrist), and Rose basically let the game come to him, hopefully to ensure that he didn't tweak his back.

I am going to post the post-game notes and the box score in a different article, just so this one isn't so long.

I do have Thibodeau's post-game press conference for you, courtesy of NBA Media Central:

Q. I asked you on Friday if you were planning to play some real defense in this one, and it sure seemed like you did.  Tell us about what you told these guys.

TOM THIBODEAU:  Well, I don't know if there was much defense played early on, but it was a great game, and everything that happened you sort of anticipated.  The West played very well.  They got off to the lead, and I thought our guys got going in the second half. And then it came down to the end, and I thought both teams played extremely hard in the fourth quarter and both teams were trying to win.

Q. You've known Pierce for a while. Talk about just him and Kobe going back and forth.  I'm sure you've heard that before, but just the challenge they had, the trash‑talking they had at the end of the game.

TOM THIBODEAU:  Yeah, that's all part of it.  They're ultra‑competitive guys, and it's all good. You know, both guys want to win very badly.  Those things happen.

Q. What do you think about the rivalry there, that those guys have had?

TOM THIBODEAU:  A lot of history.  That's what makes it great, yeah.

Q. What does a coach say to a team that gives up 88 points in the first half at halftime?

TOM THIBODEAU:  (Laughing) It's a great game.  When you put ‑‑ and again, you put that many great players on the floor, you're in a bind on almost every possession because if you overcommit to your help, you're going to give up a wide‑open shot, and then you have a second shot, and often times the speed of the game you're caught cross‑matched, and you're giving up lay‑ups.  So you sort of have to figure that out.

And then we were small, and so we had to do a lot of switching, and that led to some problems, as well.  But you know, both teams put big points up on the board, and usually that's the case with All‑Star Games.

Q. Luol Deng had the ball toward the end of the first quarter and didn't come back.  What was your thinking?

TOM THIBODEAU:  Going in we had talked about not playing a lot of minutes.  We wanted to limit what Derrick was doing and also Luol, so we just wanted to play it safe.  Some guys wanted to play less, so that's what we did, and we tried to keep everyone's minutes down.  And then at the end the guys that were playing well, we stayed with those guys.

Q. Being in Orlando were you disappointed for Dwight Howard that he didn't play better?

TOM THIBODEAU:  You know, sometimes I think it's ‑‑ in these type of games, it's harder for the big guys because it's such an up‑and‑down game.  The ball is in the hands of the perimeter players more.  But he did some good things.  He's a great player.  You know, sometimes that happens.

Q. What did you think of his three‑point shooting?

TOM THIBODEAU:  Yeah, well, he's pretty confident.

Q. With so many players with five seconds left, who did you want to have the last shot with five seconds left?

TOM THIBODEAU:  Well, we had to scramble, and the first time‑out we were looking for either the quick two or the open three, and there were two options.  We thought Deron got a good look at it, a make or miss league, then there was the scramble on the offensive rebound.  And often times you can get a great shot off of that; it didn't work out.  And then the last one was tough with one second left.

So you're trying to create a quick catch‑and‑shoot play, and we had two options on that. But we felt like we had a lot of scoring on the floor.

Q. LeBron seemed genuinely dejected after the game.  He said he felt like he let his teammates down with that late turnover.  What did you think of his play in the late stages.

TOM THIBODEAU:  He made a lot of big plays.  He made big shots, great reads.  You know, and again, you have a scramble situation and an open floor, and you have a very dynamic scorer and a guy with great vision and good decision making. You know, you can call a time‑out and it allows the defense to get set, or you can trust his ability to make a play. You know, throughout his career, he's shown that he's capable of making big plays.

Q. When Dwyane got up from his press conference, he looked down at the box score and laughed and said, "Man, look at all those minutes.  I've got to talk to Tibs."  Did you talk about that?

TOM THIBODEAU:  I asked all those guys, and it's funny, when you look at the history of the All‑Star Games, the most minutes are usually around 30.  So that's what we were ‑‑ and I asked him beforehand if they wanted to play that or if they wanted to play less.  I did that with all the guys in order to try to get a read.  Some guys were nicked up a little bit and wanted to play less, and some guys were fine with the 30‑minute mark.

But he played great.

FastScripts by ASAP Sports

Courtesy NBA Media Central





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    Don Ellis started covering sports professionally when he was 15. The same year (1980), as a student assistant at Seeger Memorial High School in West Lebanon, IN, he was one of the first in the world to use, study and implement analytics in basketball. He attended Daytona State College and Ball State University, and some of his past credits include InsideHoops (NBA Runaround: The NBA According to Ellis) and ESPN Florida (The Florida Sports Reporters), where he was fortunate enough to work with many rising stars, including NFL Network's Dan Hellie, Redskins coach Jay Gruden, Magic radio and TV personality Dante Marchitelli, and WSB-TV (Atlanta) Sports Director Zach Klein. In addition to running the Bullsville blog and officiating basketball, baseball and football for the KHSAA, he is also a bass player and vocalist who writes and produces music in his spare time (you may remember his internet hit "I Hate Eddy Curry"). He's a 3rd-generation Cubs fan, a Bulls fan since the days of Van Lier and Sloan, and a life-long New England Patriots fan. He's seen Primus 9 times and thinks Les Claypool walks on water. By far his greatest accomplishment is being a father of three and grandfather of one.

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