LeBron James saw more time on the court—46 minutes—than any other player. However, he went only 3-11 shooting and only totaled just eight points. He made only two free-throws in four attempts and was additionally 0-3 from 3-point land.
James did not have a single point in the 4th quarter, and looked more like a spectator than an all-star.
The eight-point performance was a new career playoff low for James. His previous career-low of 10 points came with the Cavaliers in 2007. He also contributed nine rebounds, seven assists, two steals, and four turnovers in Game 4.
In the 2007 NBA Finals, James averaged 22 PPG, seven RPG, and 6.8 APG. Thus far in 2011 against the Mavericks, Lebron has averaged 17.3 PPG, 7.3 RPG, and 6.3 APG. He should currently be in the prime of his career, but his scoring has clearly dropped since 2007.
Scotty Pippen came out during the playoffs and stated that Michael Jordan was the greatest scorer ever in the NBA, but LeBron that could be the greatest player ever. Is this still the case?
Michael Jordan first reached the Finals in 1991 and averaged 31.2 PPG, 6.6 RPG, and 11.4 APG. In the 1992 Finals, Jordan averaged 35.8 PPG, 4.8 RPG, and 6.5 APG.
In fact, Jordan's lowest point total in his first two Finals appearances was 26—and the Bulls still won that game.
As we all know, MJ went on to win the NBA Finals in 1991-1993 and 1996-1998. He finished with a total of six titles after the two three-peats.
Without a doubt, Jordan's stats trump those of Lebron James through his first two NBA Finals appearances. MJ would have never let his team lose such an important Game 4 which could now serve as a huge momentum-changer in the series.
Not only that, but LeBron has been outscored by both Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh during the Finals.
LeBron simply cannot put up the same scoring numbers that MJ did. But admittedly, James also plays exceptional defense and is a better rebounder than Jordan.
LeBron has two MVP awards, while Jordan finished with five. To go with those five regular season MVP awards, MJ has six NBA Finals MVP awards.
The 2011 NBA Finals are not quite over, but if the Heat do falter, everyone will look back on this poor Game 4 performance by LeBron. And although James will surely have plenty of time to establish his own dynasty, as of right now he is nowhere close to equaling that of MJ.
In fact, Dwayne Wade has played more like MJ than LeBron has, averaging 29.8 PPG, 8 RPG and 4.3 APG during the 2011 Finals against the Mavericks. Similarly, Wade averaged 34.7 PPG, 7.8 RPG, and 3.8 APG en route to defeating the Mavericks in the 2006 NBA Finals.