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NBA notes: Krzyzewski says LeBron James may have 20-assist game this season

Published October 23, 2012 10:10 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

LeBron James with 20 assists? Mike Krzyzewski thinks it's possible.

The Hall of Fame Duke coach — and James' coach on the U.S. Olympic teams that won gold medals in Beijing and London — said in a televised interview that he thinks the three-time NBA MVP may have more assist chances than ever before this season, especially with the Miami Heat having so many players who can connect from 3-point range.

"Don't be surprised with a 20-assist game," Krzyzewski told Sun Sports, which televises Heat games, in a halftime interview of Miami's game in Raleigh, N.C. against the Charlotte Bobcats. "I'm telling you, because he has all these shooters and he's going to get easy assists."

James' career high for assists is 15, done three times. For his career, he's averaged 6.9 assists per game.

"That's a lot of pressure," James said when told of Krzyzewski's 20-assist prediction, not long after the Heat finished off a 98-92 victory. "But it's more pressure on our shooters. I'm going to get them the ball."

Krzyzewski has several long-standing ties to the Heat organization. He's close with Heat managing general partner Micky Arison. Heat CEO Nick Arison — the owner's son — was the Blue Devils' student manager for four years under Krzyzewski, who coached Shane Battier at Duke and had James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh on Olympic teams. Wade and Bosh were on the 2008 team in Beijing, then couldn't play on the London 2012 team because of injuries.

Around the league

Cavaliers • Guard Daniel Gibson was out for Cleveland's preseason game against Indiana on Tuesday night because of a concussion. The Cavaliers announced Gibson reported concussion symptoms on Monday. He will be cleared to resume contact and game action once he is symptom-free and successfully completes the NBA concussion protocol process.

Lakers • Kobe Bryant sat out of practice for the second straight day to rest his injured right foot. After Bryant missed Tuesday's practice, he said he probably won't play in the Lakers' preseason game against the Clippers on Wednesday night.