LeBron James and Dwyane Wade Can't Shoot on Thursday Nights
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sport
Throughout their careers, the two Miami Heat stars have seen their field-goal percentages fall off a cliff in Thursday night games. This calendar curse does not bode well for the Heat as they prepare to face the San Antonio Spurs in Game 4 on Thursday trailing 2-1 in the NBA Finals.
Expect lots of bricks from LeBron and D-Wade.
The calendar never lies.
Note: Stats are courtesy of Basketball-Reference.com.
LeBron's Thursday Night LeBricks
LeBron shoots significantly worse on Thursdays when compared to any other day of the week, as seen with data taken from his career splits.
Sunday - 49.3 percent (103 games)
Monday - 50.0 percent (67 games)
Tuesday - 49.2 percent (116 games)
Wednesday - 48.9 percent (155 games)
Thursday - 47.5 percent (77 games)
Friday - 48.8 percent (137 games)
Saturday - 49.7 percent (110 games)
LeBron's 47.5 field-goal percentage on Thursdays is over a full percentage point lower than his next worst shooting day of 48.8 percent on Fridays. On his career, he has hit 49.2 percent of the non-Thursday field-goal attempts, a full 1.7 percent better than his Thursday performance.
The same Thursday statistical anomaly holds true for LeBron's sidekick, Dwyane Wade.
D-Wade's Thursday Night Fade
A quick review of Dwyane Wade's career splits shows that he has struggled shooting the ball on Thursdays just as much as LeBron has.
Sunday - 48.6 percent (97 games)
Monday - 49.5 percent (72 games)
Tuesday - 49.5 percent (94 games)
Wednesday - 48.5 percent (121 games)
Thursday - 47.3 percent (60 games)
Friday - 48.9 percent (125 games)
Saturday - 49.5 percent (96 games)
Just like LeBron, Dwyane Wade's 47.3 percentage on Thursdays is more than a full percentage point lower than his next lowest day, 48.5 percent on Wednesdays. Throughout his career, Wade has made 49 percent of his non-Thursday shots compared to 47.3 percent on Thursdays, suffering the same 1.7 percent drop as LeBron.
Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony Thrive on Thursdays
One possible explanation for James and Wade struggling on Thursday night could be attributed to Thursday being a marquee night for the NBA. The league normally schedules fewer games that evening and regularly pairs two strong teams for compelling national TV matchups. This explains why both players have played relatively few Thursday games.
But the same Thursday night funk does not hold true for some of the NBA's other marquee players.
In fact, gunners like Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony actually raise their games on Thursdays.
Kevin Durant's career 52.2 percent on Thursdays is significantly better than his shooting on any other day of the week. His next best day is 47.8 percent on Fridays.
Carmelo Anthony's 46.1 percent on Thursdays is his second best shooting day, trailing only his 48.4 percent on Tuesdays.
Some players like James and Wade struggle on Thursdays when the glare of the national spotlight shines a little brighter. Others stars like Durant and Anthony raise their games.
Thursdays aren't kind to LeBron James and Dwyane Wade.
If the curse of the calendar continues, expect a 3-1 Spurs series lead after Thursday's game.
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