Delusional and defensive Russell Westbrook fans are going to disagree with this and call me a hater.
In a recent interview I did with Richard Jefferson, RJ explained why LeBron could be MVP every season and Coach Pop could be Coach of the Year every season. But, they aren’t because people get caught up in “sexy numbers” and hot individual stories of the year about so and so doing something nobody expected. And in the end, those hot story, sexy MVP winners are either beaten by a LeBron team or watching LeBron in the finals on their TV the same way most of the MVP voters are.
On Thursday, one day after the world went crazy over Russell Westbrook putting up a 51-point triple-double (and shooting 4 for 18 in the 4th quarter) in a loss to the Rockets, LeBron James put up 41/13/12 (28/7/6 and 0 turnovers in the 2nd half) in a 26-point comeback win for the Cavs. The comeback tied the biggest comeback in playoff history….and Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love were on the bench the entire 4th quarter!
But scoring 10 more points on 16 more shots while your lost teammates stand around in a loss is more impressive right?
“My job is to empower my teammates, make them believe every night.” Said LeBron when asked about his goals after Game 3. “I don’t settle, my mind is fresh, and sometimes, certain things just happen.”
Richard Jefferson also said people are just so used to seeing the greatness of LeBron, they take it for granted and then rattled off a list of LeBron’s recent accomplishments. I’m not going to repeat all of them but I will rattle off a bunch random facts and stats that can be added to that list.
- LeBron moved past Kobe and into third on the NBA Playoff scoring list.
- This was LeBron’s second 40-point triple-double in the playoffs. There’s only been 5 others in playoff history.
- LeBron has 8 straight playoff games with at least 25/6/6. He shot 50% or better in 7 of those 8. Russell Westbrook has gone 25/6/6 while shooting 50% 6 times in 84 playoff games.
- In Game 1, LeBron became just the 3rd person since 1984 to rack up 32 points, 13 assists and 6 rebounds while shooting 60% in a playoff game (CP3 and MJ are the other 2)
- In Game 2, LeBron became the first person since 1984 to record at least 25 points, 7 assists, 4 steals and 4 blocks in a playoff game. In Westbrook’s game 2, Westbrook had the worst advanced stat in 4th quarter playoff history with his 4 for 18 shooting.
I know what some of you are saying: I hate these stupid, reaching ESPN stats and Westbrook doesn’t have any help. Well, how about these apples: The Cavs were 0-8 without LeBron this season while the Thunder, Rockets and Spurs were a combined 9-1 without Westbrook, Harden and Leonard. And again, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love were on the bench when LeBron dominated the 4th quarter against the Pacers in Game 3.
Take that data!