Culture of Hoops

Lebron James: No one can guard Kevin Durant

Image courtesy of Keith Allison/Flickr.

Image courtesy of Keith Allison/Flickr.

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LeBron James says no one can guard Kevin Durant without help.

“Individually, he can’t be stopped by any 1-on-1 player,” James said. “There’s nobody that can guard him 1-on-1.”

James, in a reversal from his pleas in previous seasons, also says he’d like to play more minutes.

“I’m not playing as many minutes as I would like but Spo is in control of that,” James said Tuesday of coach Erik Spoelstra as the Heat prepared to face the West-leading Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday (7 p.m., ESPN). “I don’t like playing less, I don’t feel like I need to play less.”

James is playing 36.9 minutes through 43 games this season, the fewest of his career, as Spoelstra attempts to save some wear and tear. But he said Tuesday he’s hoping to play more as the Miami Heat enter the meat of their schedule.

But while James is often very aware of his numbers, he may not realize that Spoelstra has been playing him more. After averaging 37 minutes during 14 games in December, Spoelstra has been playing James about 39 minutes a game in January. Some of that is because Dwyane Wade has missed five games this month. Still James, who has complained about Spoelstra playing him too many minutes in the past, wants more.

“I can understand we’ve been playing a lot of basketball so Spo is monitoring that as well,” James said. “Don’t ever put it out there that LeBron wants to play less.” ESPN

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