One of the main reasons LeBron James is still one of the NBA’s best players is his incredible basketball IQ and understanding of the game. LeBron’s immense experience playing in the NBA is also one reason he is familiar with a lot of the plays that different NBA teams run. In a game against the Chicago Bulls the other night, Bulls forward Patrick Williams remembers hearing LeBron calling out their plays ahead of time.
After the game, Williams spoke to the reporters and said how seeing LeBron call out plays was unbelievable and probably one reason for their win in that game. Williams immediately assumed LeBron watches a lot of game tape, and he was right.
Patrick Williams says LeBron James was calling out some of the #Bulls‘ plays ahead of time.
“You can tell he watches a lot of film,” Williams says.
— Cody Westerlund (@CodyWesterlund) January 24, 2021
When LeBron was asked whether that is true or not, he said he was preparing before the game, which is a standard process before every single game he plays in. A big part of that preparation involves shooting and conditioning and watching film, and getting to know your opponent and what plays they run.
I study the teams. I prepare for the teams every day leading up to the game. I watched film on them yesterday, watched their game yesterday that they had vs. Charlotte, and then I watched a lot of film this morning, and I just tried to get accustomed to a lot of sets that they run so that I could keep my guys prepared, keep them a little bit ahead of the play. Just being very knowledgable about some of the sets they like to run, some of the ATOS, some of the things they like to run in the halfcourt, and things of that nature just to have my guys keep their heads on a swivel and not get surprised by anything.”LeBron James
Whether you like LeBron or not, you can’t deny he is a great basketball mind who is always at least one step ahead of the opposing players and teams. Like many other great players, LeBron puts a lot of attention to detail and watching game film, which reveals a lot about the players and teams he is playing against and allow himself to be so dominant on top of all the other abilities he has.