LeBron James Setting the Superstar Bar Even Higher
LeBron James is putting on an absolute show for the Miami Heat, and it's starting to approach unbelievable heights after he put together his fifth straight 30-point performance in which he shot at least 60 percent from the floor.
Just two other players in NBA history have strung together five consecutive games in which they've scored 30-plus points while making at least 60 percent of their shots: Moses Malone in 1982 and Adrian Dantley in 1979.
LeBron James: 5th straight 30+ point game (Heat record for consecutive 30-point games)— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) February 10, 2013
Over the last week or so, LeBron has been playing the best basketball of his career. In case you haven't watched him play in the past decade, that notion is downright terrifying.
After seeing him completely decimate the league a season ago en route to one of the most dominant statistical seasons of all time (MVP, NBA championship, Olympic glory), it's been fun to watch him improve this year.
We like to look at short bursts on a day-to-day basis when talking about the NBA, and we can certainly do that with LeBron's recent run. He's averaged 31 points per game over his past five, and he's done it while making 55-of-77 shots.
Told LeBron he was 49 of his last 65. His response: "Oh s---. That's pretty good."— Tom Haberstroh (@tomhaberstroh) February 10, 2013
He's doing everything just like he used to, only now he's doing more of it—and more efficiently. Let's stretch that period of games out just a bit and look at his past 13 games.
Starting with a mid-January loss to the Utah Jazz, James has averaged 30.1 points on 61.4 percent from the floor.
If you're a center, shooting 61 percent from the floor while scoring 10 points per game would be something to make your coach happy. When you're a small forward, your coach can pretty much take a nap on the bench.
Then there's his season as a whole. Among the players in league history who have averaged 27 points, eight rebounds and seven assists, LeBron would dwarf them in field-goal percentage by a solid 3.5 percent.
Chris Paul's year has been put on the back burner in terms of the MVP race after missing a few weeks, and LeBron has a shot at completely overshadowing Kevin Durant for the second year in a row in the MVP race as well.
Durant is averaging 28.9 points and is well on his way to shooting 50 percent from the field, 40 percent from the three-point line and 90 percent from the free-throw line. Should the OKC star's season hold up, he would have the second-highest-scoring season of any player in the 50/40/90 club.
Durant is throwing together a year that will potentially be remembered as one of the three best shooting seasons of all time, yet LeBron could be the unanimous MVP choice if he keeps playing how he's been playing.
If that's not a driving force to the rest of the league to slow this man down, then nothing will be.
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