WHAT IT FEELS LIKE...

To guard LeBron James

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Monday, April 28, 2008

Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James attempted a long jump shot in the third quarter of the Washington Wizards' 108-72 win on Thursday when Caron Butler knocked the ball free and sprinted downcourt for a slam dunk to give his team a 29-point lead.

Butler called the play "a big momentum booster," but it took facing James several times over the past five seasons for Butler to time that one play perfectly. When it comes to James, Butler admits he's still trying to figure out how to slow down the league's leading scorer.

It's tough. . . . Obviously, he's a big opponent. But at the same time, he does so many things well. He can shoot. But one of the best things he does is pass. He's an unbelievable playmaker and facilitator. He's a tough cover, but you just try to make it difficult for him. You try to keep your body on him, to dictate how the game is going to be called and try to play as physical as possible with him. At the same time, the game is called so differently, you really have to adjust on the fly.

Overall, you just try to attack him on both ends of the floor. Sometimes, your offense can be your defense playing against a guy like that. You can get physical with him, but some of the things that would bother the average wing man, guard, in the league, wouldn't bother him because he's so strong. You just got to continue to pound at it and make it as difficult as possible. He's one of the top two or three players in the league, hands down.

-- Interview by Michael Lee


© 2008 The Washington Post Company

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