LeBron James had a remarkably efficient performance in the Heat’s win over the Mavericks on Friday, even by his unprecedented standards.
James finished with 39 points in just under 37 minutes of action, and scored them by taking just 18 shots.
LeBron shot 14-of-18 from the field, good for 77.7 percent shooting, and made his only three-point attempt of the night while sinking 10 of 11 free throws.
Afterward, James was given a hypothetical to answer, and while his prediction initially might come across as bold, it’s actually closer to the truth than it may seem at first glance.
From Tom Haberstroh of ESPN.com:
James’ hyper-efficient shooting performance comes on the heels of Toronto Raptors forward Rudy Gay shooting 37 field goal attempts in an overtime loss to the Houston Rockets on Monday. Gay totaled just 29 points in more than twice as many attempts. …
After Friday’s game, James was asked about his reaction when he sees other players shooting 30 — or as much as 37 — attempts in a game.
“I had [almost] 40 now with 18 shots, I mean … If you give me 37 shots in a game, I’d put up 60. Easy,” James said.
After seeing James continue to put up staggering numbers while in the prime of his career, it’s hard to intelligently debate the accuracy of his comments.
Carmelo Anthony can flat-out score the rock — that has never been the question. Even hurting last season for many of the 40 games he played, he averaged 24.2 points a game, had a true shooting percentage of 53.1 percent (right near the league average) while having the entire weight of the Knicks offense on his shoulders (32.2 usage rate, fifth highest in the NBA). When people (or players) talk about him being overrated, the discussion turns to defense or if he makes his teammates better. But there should be no doubt Anthony is an elite scorer.
He thinks he will be for a while longer — like another five years. Via Ian Begley of ESPN:
In fact, the 31-year-old Knicks star is confident that he can play at a high level for the next “four or five years.”
“Without a doubt. Without a doubt,” Anthony said after the Knicks’ final training camp practice on Saturday.
The Knicks better hope that’s true, they already made that bet with that massive five-year contract they gave him last summer.
Anthony’s age combined with him coming off knee surgery have a lot of people — myself included — expecting him to take a step back. Not a big one, but he is coming up at the point in his career where some open shots he used to get are now contested because he’s half-a-step slower, and some of those looks don’t fall as often. His jumper isn’t suddenly going to look like Rajon Rondo‘s, ‘Melo is going to get his points, but he may not be as efficient.
Fortunately, the Knicks have an improved supporting cast around him this season. That should take some offensive load off his shoulders, and maybe the Knicks offense will see better ball movement and start to resemble the triangle. If it’s just more isolation Anthony, it’s not going to be pretty.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) The Sacramento have picked up the 2016-17 option on guard Ben McLemore‘s contract.
General manager Vlade Divac announced the move Saturday.
McLemore was Sacramento’s first-round pick in 2013. He averaged 12.1 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.7 assists last season.