LeBron James’ praises have been sung plenty in these playoffs.
So we’re going to use this space to pump him up some more?
Yes, we are.
Because what’s not being said is by how much James is blowing away the field.
James leads all playoff performers in PER (31.0) and win shares (3.9). Kevin Durant, his closest competitor in both categories, trails significantly with marks of 27.7 and 2.7, respectively.
And unlike Kevin Durant, he’s performing without another stud to help carry the water.
Odd as it may seem to deny Dwyane Wade the “stud” tag, he’s putting up his worst playoff numbers since 2006-07. Through four games against the Celtics, he has yet to crack 23 points, despite drawing an unchallenging defensive assignment (a hobbled Ray Allen) for much of the series.
With Bosh out and the Heat's third leading playoff scorer turning in a mere 12.1 PPG (Chalmers), the Heat have needed more from the All-Star shooting guard, and simply haven't gotten it.
Consequently, we've witnessed the return of “Cleveland LeBron” in every way. The Heat have gotten this far on his shoulders—they can't afford a drop-off in his production in this series or, should they be so fortunate, the next.