Miami Heat v Chicago Bulls - Game Five

Charles Oakley doesn’t think LeBron James is Michael Jordan

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Is there anyone who thinks that LeBron James is Michael Jordan? Well, besides Scottie Pippen?

Charles Oakley doesn’t think so. Of course he didn’t.

The MJ contemporary and recent Bobcats assistant coach wanted to make it clear in an interview with Hoopsworld that the two are not in the same class. (Hat tip to Eye on Basketball)

“I wouldn’t put them in the same conversation.

“It took a while for Michael to win championships too, but they have a different swagger, a different demeanor. If I would compare anybody to Michael Jordan, it would be Kobe Bryant. Point blank. I know LeBron well; he don’t have what Michael have so I’m not even gonna discuss that one.

“To be a superstar (LeBron) has to go back to his fundamentals… work on his post game, work off the ball.”

It’s hard to compare mid-career LeBron to Jordan’s full-career legacy, we can’t say how we will look back on LeBron when he retires. But there was a universal love — or at least respect — that Jordan had and LeBron has lost. You can define that as swagger or whatever you wish, it remains a reality. One that will stick with LeBron.

Dwight Howard commits ridiculously sloppy inbound violation (video)

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An embarrassing lack of focus by the Rockets? I can hardly believe it.

Late in a game against a team Houston is battling for playoff position, Dwight Howard was just careless, stepping on the baseline as he inbounded the ball. It’s a needless goof, and he’ll get plenty of deserved criticism for it.

But don’t overlook Patrick Beverley‘s frustration foul on Damian Lillard before the ensuing inbound. That was nearly as foolish and even more costly.

The sequence sparked a 7-0 run for the Trail Blazers, who seized control of the game en route to a 116-103 win.

DeAndre Jordan dunks on Marcus Smart before Smart knows what’s happening (video)

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Marcus Smart went to tag DeAndre Jordan on the pick-and-roll, and Jordan took off from so far from the basket, he was dunking on Smart before the Celtics guard could do a thing.

Chris Paul finds brilliant counter to hack-a-DeAndre Jordan (video)

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I originally favored allowing Hack-a-Shaq as the NBA currently does. I found the strategy fascinated – why and when teams would use it and how their opponents would counter.

But it just became too common. Far too many games featured a parade of trips to the line, a boring stretch that made games too long. I thought the intrigue had run its course.

Then, Chris Paul pulled this move last night.

The Clippers guard saw Jonas Jerebko charging toward DeAndre Jordan to commit an intentional foul, so Paul stepped in front of an unsuspecting Jerebko and took the foul himself. That’s sent a good free-throw shooter to the line instead of the dismal Jordan.

Just an awesome heady play by Paul.