From 1960 to 2014, no player ever led an NBA Finals in each points, rebounds and assists.
LeBron James could do it twice in a row.
LeBron, who accomplished the feat last year, leads the 2016 Finals in rebounds (11.0) and assists (8.3) per game. Averaging 24.8 per game, he has scored only one fewer point than Kyrie Irving entering tonight’s Game 5.
So, he has 100% of the rebound leader’s rebounds, 100% of the assist leader’s assists and 99% of the point’s leader’s points – a total of 299%. In the years Basketball-Reference.com has Finals data for all three stats (1952, 1955-1958, 1960-2016), 19 players have cracked 250% on that scale. Here’s each with the player’s stats/leader’s stats (rank in the series):
LeBron isn’t nearly as dominant in this year’s Finals as last year’s, but he’s held to such a high standard. How many players could disappoint while averaging 24.8, 11.0 rebounds and 8.3 assists per game in the Finals?
LeBron has effectively made this look normal.
He appears on the above chart five times – more than double anyone else. Shaquille O’Neal, Magic Johnson and Larry Bird each qualified twice.
Barring a stunning comeback from down 3-1 to the Warriors this year, LeBron will also account for most of the losses. He put up these monster numbers in 2007, last year and this year. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1974 and Shaq in 1995 are the only other 250%ers not to win the title.
LeBron’s numbers aren’t perfectly meaningful, but they’re far from empty. He’s doing so much for Cleveland.
It’s just not enough to beat Golden State.
But we can still appreciate how he has, year after year, produced historic statistical output in the Finals.