Blueprint for LeBron James to Have Most Dominant Postseason of All Time in 2013
The blueprint for LeBron James to have the most dominant postseason of all time in 2013 outlines the statistical achievements he would need to accomplish in order to secure this distinction.
While leading the Miami Heat to an NBA championship is critical, the scoring average, field-goal percentage and clutch statistics needed to qualify are also highlighted.
Historic postseason runs by the likes of Michael Jordan, Wilt Chamberlain, Jerry West and others are used as a benchmark.
When considering the postseason production that James has turned in throughout his career, each aspect of this blueprint is well within reach. After a dominating performance against the Milwaukee Bucks on Sunday, he could be well on his way.
Lead Miami Heat to the 2013 NBA Championship
Dominance in the NBA playoffs is ultimately defined by championships.
For LeBron James to turn in the most dominant postseason of all time, he must first help the Miami Heat repeat as NBA champions.
Highlighted by the NBA Finals MVP James earned in 2012, he must also prove to be the biggest reason why the Heat are again able to secure their second consecutive title.
After using a 27-game winning streak to earn the NBA's best record at 66-16, the Heat are currently up 1-0 over the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round heading into Game 2 on Tuesday.
Score More Than 35.1 Points Along the Way
Michael Jordan averaged 35.1 points during the 1993 playoffs on his way to leading the Chicago Bulls to an NBA championship.
For James to qualify his postseason performance in 2013 as the most dominant ever, he would need to eclipse Jordan's average from '93.
During Game 1 against the Milwaukee Bucks, James finished with 27 points while only attempting 11 field goals in a 110-87 Heat win.
Heading into the 2013 playoffs, James' previous postseason career high is the 35.3 points he averaged in 2009.
Shoot 58 Percent from the Floor During the Postseason
The 35.3 points that LeBron James averaged in 2009 ranks No. 11 all-time in terms of postseason scoring average, according to Basketball-Reference.com.
The six players ahead of James with higher averages are Michael Jordan, Jerry West, Elgin Baylor, Hakeem Olajuwon, Bob McAdoo and Wilt Chamberlain.
The chart above highlights the postseason career-high field-goal percentages for each of those players, along with their career average for some perspective.
For James to have the most dominant postseason ever, shooting better than the 57.9 percent Wilt Chamberlain put up during the 1967 playoffs would remove any doubt or arguments to the contrary.
James shot a career-best 51 percent from the floor in the 2009 playoffs and averages 47 percent for his career during the postseason. After one game against the Milwaukee Bucks, however, he's shooting a staggering 81.8.
Average a Double-Double During the Playoffs
During the 2012 playoffs, LeBron James averaged a near double-double with 9.7 rebounds and 5.6 assists per game to go along with scoring 30.3 points.
Michael Jordan, for some perspective, averaged six assists and 6.7 rebounds per contest to go along with his 35.1 points in 1993.
For James to provide the emphasis needed to unanimously classify his postseason performance as the most dominant ever, he would need to register a double-double along the way.
This could come in terms of either rebounds or assists for James, who averages 8.7 rebounds and 6.7 assists per game for his postseason career.
In Game 1 against the Bucks, James posted a near triple-double, collecting 10 rebounds and dishing out eight assists.
Continue to Excel in the Clutch
According to NBA.com, LeBron James led the league with 46 clutch points during the 2012 postseason.
He achieved this total during 50 clutch minutes, as compared to 51 clutch minutes for Kevin Durant and 62 for Rajon Rondo, who finished second and third with 43 and 36 points respectively.
In addition to piling up mind-boggling statistics against teams like the Milwaukee Bucks, James would need to excel like this in the clutch to qualify his postseason effort as the most dominant of all time.
There may not be that many times when the Heat are ahead or behind by five points or less during the last five minutes of the game, but when they are, James must continue to step up and deliver.