If you glance at LeBron James‘ raw stats from the first two games of the NBA Finals, you might think he’s been a fantasy basketball juggernaut this post season – and he has, of course – but not to the level you’d expect.
James has averaged a near triple double with 29.3 points, 10.6 rebounds, and 8.3 assists during the Cleveland Cavaliers playoff run. However, his raw efficiency stats have been iffy, at best.
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In this year’s postseason, the two-time champion has committed 4.3 turnovers per game and has shot just 42.3% from the field and 20.7% from the three-point line. These numbers are all significantly worse than what he posted in the regular season, where he shot 48.8% overall and 35.4% from downtown, while averaging 3.9 turnovers.
Moreover, in last year’s playoffs, James shot 56.5% from the field and over 40% from three point land to go along with only 3.1 turnovers per game.
While the mileage is no doubt starting to wear on the 30-year-old, a few more factors are in play. First of all, Cleveland has less depth and talent than his Miami Heat teams. This means opponents are able to focus their defense more on him. Secondly, the Cavs employ a vanilla offensive scheme. While LeBron gets high volume in shots, he’s almost always asked to create his own looks.
Speaking specifically of this postseason run, the Cavs opponents have been strong defensively. The Bulls, Hawks, and Warriors all ranked in the top ten defenses in the league. The Celtics were above average at 14.
Thus, while LeBron has recorded gaudy raw stats, those numbers don’t tell the whole story.