Who can stop King James?
LeBron James is arguably the biggest name in the game. An NBA Champion, three-time NBA MVP and part of the 2008 Beijing Gold Medal-winning Redeem Team, few players have the resume or the ability to match it with one of the best athletes in the world.
“King James” and his USA teammates will be eyeing a Semi Final berth, but before talk of medals they face an in-form Australian Boomers squad eager to cause an upset.
While the USA have a squad chock full of NBA superstars, James is considered, and has proven, he is the barometer for this country.
This was no more obvious than their victory over Lithuania. A 10-point lead at the start of the final quarter was quickly erased and turned into a Lithuanian advantage with 5:50 left in the game.
James sparked 12-6 run to end the game, scoring nine of those points himself in less than two minutes to save American blushes.
This type of dominance leads to the question. Who can stop James? Or re-phrased, who can reduce the impact of James on the game?
Casting an eye over the Boomers roster and it’s hard to look past arguably Australia’s best player of the tournament thus far, Joe Ingles.
The Regal FC Barcelona star has been a model of consistency for the Boomers at both ends of the floor, with the highlight of his tournament a brilliant shutdown performance against British and NBA star Luol Deng.
Ingles kept the Chicago Bulls star to just nine points (3-of-15 from the field) after he had averaged more than 21 points a game in his previous three outings.
Standing at 6’8” and with those long arms, Ingles has the tools to make life difficult for James with few players in the tournament able to match his size, strength and athleticism.
Don’t just a defensive stopper, Ingles has emerged as one of the key offensive players in the Boomers’ arsenal, averaging 14.2 (points per game) and 3.8 assists) highlighted by his 20-point showing against Russia in the final pool game.
If we see Ingles given the task of quelling James it will be one of the biggest challenges of the 24-year-olds career and one that will play a pivotal role in Australia’s hopes of advancing to the medal round.
The Australian Boomers face the USA tomorrow morning from 7:15am AEST with the game to be broadcast LIVE on Foxtel Channel London 7.
Miami Heat (NBA)
Regal FC Barcelona (Spain)
2008 Beijing, 2004 Athens
2012 London Stats
Points (per game)
Field Goal %
3PT FG %
Free Throw %
USA 99-94 Lithuania
Boomers 82-80 Russia