Any way it’s sliced, diced and analyzed, what LeBron James is doing is just … ridiculous, even by the standards of a guy who calls himself King James.
Over his last five games, he is averaging 31 points and making 71 percent of his shots. That ties an NBA record (held by Moses Malone and Adrian Dantley) for 30 or more points and 60 percent or better shooting in five straight games. He put up 32 in the Miami Heat’s 107-97 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday.
James has done this before. As ESPN’s True Hoop blog points out, he has scored at least 30 points in five straight games 10 times. It’s the deadly efficiency that sets the streak apart this time.
A closer look at LeBron’s last 5 games … He’s averaging 31 PPG and shooting 71% yfrog.com/05ky1wj
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) February 11, 2013
“He’s just playing exceptional basketball,” Kobe Bryant, who is 6-13 in head-to-head matchups with James, said. “I think he’s figured out his game, in terms of what he wants it to be.”
You might say so. Since the 9:24 mark of the fourth quarter in the Feb. 3 game in Toronto, he has brought new meaning to the term “hot hand,” making 49 of 65 shots since (via ESPN’s Tom Haberstroh). Even James was surprised when told that Sunday.
“Forty-nine what? Makes?” he asked. “Forty-nine of what?”
Told that the second figure was 65, even he had to admit, “[Expletive], that’s pretty good.”
ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, who has covered all of James’s remarkable career, noted that:
Sometimes it seems as if James just moves at a different speed than everyone else on the floor, even if it’s late and he should be tired. But right now James just seems impenetrable.
“I think he’s at the stage of his career in which he’ll value each year and take the significance to his training and take the significance to focus for each game,” Bryant said. “I think it’s taken his game to another level. It’s tough.”
Steve Nash was more succinct: “He’s playing at a level rarely seen.”