What would be a reasonable expectation for a LeBron James game against Golden State? I mean, would a 30 point triple double be adequate? Would that serve as a reasonable (adequate, not great) level of performance?
We know from last year that LeBron's ridiculous Finals performance was deemed a horrible and complete failure because Cleveland could not win. His 2016 Finals numbers? Roughly 36 points, 13 rebounds and 9 assists a game. So, people had greater expectations for LeBron, because he should have gone, say, 40-15-15 and won the series.
But I would concur that the Cavs are overmatched by Golden State, and that for the Cavs to win the title that LeBron needs a 30 point triple double every night.
So -- getting a 30 point triple double in the NBA Finals since 1984 (when the basketball-reference database goes back to):
http://bkref.com/tiny/ZxDAg It has happened 5 times. Three LeBron's, Worthy in Game 7 in 1988, and Barkley in a loss to the Bulls in 1993. That is it. If you drop it to 30-9-8, to pick up some actual occurrences, you get:
http://bkref.com/tiny/fuEFI 13 times, 5 by LeBron. Jordan and Worthy have 2 each. The other 4 are Shaq, Barkley, Magic, Kareem.
Therefore, what we expect out of LeBron for his team to win a game is simply ridiculous and irrational. Michael Jordan won 6 titles. He went for 30 points, 9 rebounds and 8 assists in a Finals game twice -- 1997 versus Utah and 1993 versus Phoenix. That is it.
It should be noted that 4 of LeBron's 30-9-8 finals efforts involve him being older than anyone to do so, except Michael and Kareem.
What if we geared it all of the way back to 25-5-5. I mean, what chance would the Cavaliers have if LeBron went 25-5-5? Almost no chance, right? Well, in the past 33 Finals, only 30 guys have ever had a game where they went 25-5-5. http://bkref.com/tiny/tZcn8 The absolutely best players have 1 such game per Finals....except Michael and LeBron, who have around 2 per series.
LeBron in 2016 is averaging 25-11-8 in the Finals, with 4.1 steals+blocks! Yet, he sucks. He is a disappointment. He is killing his team.
We have set the bar so high for LeBron that it is virtually impossible for him to play to expectations. The Cavs are likely to lose a close Game 5, and then we can hear all of the crap about how LeBron lost again and he really isn't very good and how ___________ is better. But it is all just that - crap.