Monday, June 13, 2016

LeBron James and What Is a Reasonable Expectation

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):  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:  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.  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.

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