Comparing LeBron James' Historic February with NBA's Best Monthly Stretches Ever

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Comparing LeBron James' Historic February with NBA's Best Monthly Stretches Ever
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

No player in the NBA will miss February quite as much as LeBron James figures to.

The three-time MVP had himself a calendar month for the ages. According to the Elias Sports Bureau (via ESPN's Tom Haberstroh), James became the first person to shoot better than 64 percent from the field (on at least 200 attempts) over an entire month since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar pulled it off in March of 1983.

And the Captain's 23.5 point-per-game average in that span pales in comparison to the 29.7 points LeBron put up, albeit during the shortest month of the year. Best of all for LeBron, his efforts sparked the Miami Heat to a 12-game winning streak—the longest in the NBA during the 2012-13 season—and a month in which they lost just once.

That's all well and good for the best player on planet Earth, but where does LeBron's February rank among the most impressive individual calendar months of all time? Figuring that out is no easy task.

The NBA didn't start keeping track of blocks and steals until 1973, and the three-point shot was introduced six years later. Throw in the scarcity of game-to-game box scores and monthly splits prior to the mid-1980s, and measuring LeBron's brilliance against the likes of Bill Russell, Oscar Robertson, Wilt Chamberlain, Julius Erving and the earlier work of Kareem, Magic Johnson and Larry Bird becomes a nearly impossible task.

For the purposes of this discussion, then, we'll focus on placing James' February within the context of the "modern" NBA. More specifically, we'll use the 1985-86 season as a cutoff, since that's the earliest campaign for which Basketball Reference has complete statistical breakdowns by game and by month.

Moreover, to give you a sense of how LeBron's (apparent) pinnacle compares to those of the all-time greats, we'll limit each player to no more than one entry onto this particular list. Sorry, Michael Jordan.

Don't worry, though. That didn't make narrowing down LeBron's competition to a workable and worthwhile field easy by any means. Here's a starter's list of the best individual months the NBA has seen since the mid-1980s.

Can you guess where LeBron's will rank?

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