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You’re not going to like this, but LeBron has been great in fourth quarters this season

May 4, 2012, 5:26 PM EDT

Miami Heat v New York Knicks - Game Three Getty Images

We all saw the NBA finals last year. We all know the knock. We’ve all heard the jokes.

Why would LeBron James be a great hockey player?

There’s no fourth quarter.

Funny. Except, this year LeBron James has been the best second quarter player in the NBA.

Over at ESPN, the fantastic Tom Haberstroh had players PER (Player Efficiency Rating, a good snapshot number looking at a players statistical performance) and found that LeBron had the second highest PER in the league in the fourth quarter. Here are the top 5:

Chris Paul 38.7
LeBron James 33.1
Kyrie Irving 31.4
Derrick Rose 30.8
Kenneth Faried 28.7

First things first: CP3 is a flat out stud, and you got to love seeing Irving and Faried on here. By the way, I think the Bulls are going to really miss that Rose guy in the playoffs.

But through the regular season, LeBron James was really good in the fourth quarter. Haberstroh makes an interesting point — Shane Battier spells LeBron in the fourth quarter this season, allowing LeBron to get rest he did not last season. He’s fresher, with that more aggressive.

I’ll agree with you now — none of this matters with his general public perception until he does it in the NBA finals, until he gets a ring. He’s going to hear the fourth quarter thing until he does, and frankly he’ll still hear it from some anyway. We all heard what they were chanting at Madison Square Garden Thursday night.

Still, whether you want to admit it or not, he’s been fantastic in the fourth quarter this season.

  1. 808raiderinparadise - May 4, 2012 at 5:37 PM

    Ask Skip Bayless.

  2. cosanostra71 - May 4, 2012 at 5:39 PM

    lol. PER is a joke! Honestly one of the dumbest stats in sports and that’s saying something. According to PER, Bruce Bowen’s career ranks between “Scrounging for minutes” and “Next Stop: D-League”. Kenneth Faried is a very good young player, but are we really going to say that he’s the fifth best fourth quarter player in the NBA this year? Is LeBron improving his late game abilities this year? Maybe. But please don’t use PER as proof of it, because that’s just silly.

  3. holleywood9 - May 4, 2012 at 5:40 PM

    The nba is about the playoffs and finals. Write ur article after that’s finished

    • juanandonly24 - May 4, 2012 at 8:04 PM

      I agree with your post, but there’s such a giant double-standard when it come to LeBron. If he bricks a shot in the finals seconds, he’s unclutch. If he does make that shot, it doesn’t matter until the playoffs. If he does it in the first round, then he has to do it in the Finals. And when he ultimately does it in the Finals, it won’t matter because it was a lockout season or Wade carried him….

      • redbullenergydrink - May 4, 2012 at 9:00 PM

        Well said. Can’t disagree one bit.

      • 00maltliquor - May 5, 2012 at 12:46 AM

        You pinned the tail on the donkey with that one.

  4. jgray30 - May 4, 2012 at 5:50 PM

    It wasnt a “season” issue. Its all about what he does in crunch time in the PLAYOFFS! When it MATTERS typically during a close game, which hasnt occured yet. Be patient. Lebron will eventually get Lescared, and will not want to shoot Leball cuz he cant make Lefree throws or cuz he dosnt wana Lebrick it. Idk the issue but be patient. Great player but only without Leheart.

    • Justin - May 4, 2012 at 6:17 PM

      I get not liking Lebron for whatever reason. Maybe you are a Cleveland fan and hate him for good reasons. Maybe you are a Bulls fan or someone else in the East and he is your main competition to getting a ring. Whatever it is, would you just put an end the the Le____ jokes? They are idiotic are overplayed.

      • moseskkim - May 4, 2012 at 6:41 PM

        It is quite Lennoying hehe

      • Justin - May 4, 2012 at 7:21 PM

        “It is quite Lennoying hehe”

        Ok that one actually made me laugh

  5. Mr. Wright 212 - May 4, 2012 at 5:50 PM

    Until he doesn’t choke in the Finals again, it is far too soon.

  6. dirtybird2020 - May 4, 2012 at 6:14 PM

    Nothing new kurt, he has been great at 4th quarters till when it counts, quit your job kurt you suck at writing articles, tomorrows gonna be a article of how lebrons better than jordan, you should kill yourself!

  7. aqzi - May 4, 2012 at 6:16 PM

    What were they chanting at MSG last night?

    • metalhead65 - May 4, 2012 at 6:34 PM

      is job should be with lebron’s posse the way he sucks up to him. my god I have never seen one writer carry on such a man crush about one athlete as much as he does lebron. he needs to change title of the blog to lebron talk .com

    • Mr. Wright 212 - May 4, 2012 at 8:40 PM

      A-HOLE, A-HOLE is what they were chanting.

      • southbeachtalent - May 5, 2012 at 3:25 PM

        you sure they weren’t chanting that at Amare?

        What a class bunch you guys are!

  8. koloofai - May 4, 2012 at 6:19 PM

    jgray 30… We get the point but I feel slightly embarrassed for you with all that ‘Le’ talk.. You think your clever? Poor guy

  9. lakerluver - May 4, 2012 at 6:24 PM

    He’s been great in 4th qtrs for his whole career, EXCEPT when it matters the most. I’m looking forward to the Heatles v. the Celtics.

    • joelito19 - May 5, 2012 at 11:29 AM

      You are right my dude. It didn’t matter last year in the second round and the conference finals vs the Celtics and the Bull. It didn’t matter against Detroit when he scored 20 something odd “4th Quarter” points w/ Larry Hughes, Eric Snow, Big Z and guys like Donyell Marshall(LOL). Those things don’t matter. You know what matters, Emotional/ Subjective Statements from your keyboard. If you think he doesn’t do it when it counts, why don’t you stand under the basket while he’s in transition and then let me know if he makes it count or not.

    • joelito19 - May 5, 2012 at 11:29 AM

      You are right my dude. It didn’t matter last year in the second round and the conference finals vs the Celtics and the Bull. It didn’t matter against Detroit when he scored 20 something odd “4th Quarter” points w/ Larry Hughes, Eric Snow, Big Z and guys like Donyell Marshall(LOL). Those things don’t matter. You know what matters, Emotional/ Subjective Statements from your keyboard. If you think he doesn’t do it when it counts, why don’t you stand under the basket while he’s in transition and then let me know if he makes it count or not.

  10. lakerluver - May 4, 2012 at 6:26 PM

    I love the Le______ jokes! Keep em coming!!!!

  11. max20characters - May 4, 2012 at 6:43 PM

    I think Kurt has a man crush on LeBron… Get a real job, Kurt!

  12. fordmandalay - May 4, 2012 at 6:46 PM

    Wow, you’ve got your tongue so far up there, can you still see any daylight?

  13. rawgator06 - May 4, 2012 at 7:05 PM

    Question: have any of you guys watched this Knicks series? How about the last game, where he torched the Knicks in the 4th at Madison Square Garden after playing poorly to start the game? I am pretty sure that game was important.

    • foozeball - May 4, 2012 at 7:20 PM

      Yeah, because the Knicks are such a great team.

      • slowclyde86 - May 4, 2012 at 8:33 PM

        Foozball is right. Lebrun has been brilliant, but none of it matters if he folds again in a series when they need him not to. The embarrassing counting of rings ahead of time will do that. No pressure or anything.

      • Mr. Wright 212 - May 4, 2012 at 8:41 PM

        We are not a good team and this is the first round. If this were the Finals (or ECF against a healthy and cohesive Knicks squad) all those shots would have CLANGED off the rim — and that’s IF he even took them to begin with.

  14. professoressadiesel - May 4, 2012 at 7:33 PM

    This season, I didn’t think it was a matter of the entire 4th quarter, just what he does at the end of the game with the game on the line was the problem.

  15. dal24la - May 4, 2012 at 8:35 PM

    PER is nice and all but I thought Lebron had a reputation for not taking and or making big shots in clutch. No one said he didn’t get assists, rebounds, blks, or steals. Besides this is just the regular season. Nothing matters until he goes a postseason without freezing.

  16. packhawk04 - May 4, 2012 at 9:10 PM

    I have no problem with lebron. None of this matters until he gets a ring. Thats all there is to it.

    • southbeachtalent - May 5, 2012 at 3:31 PM

      Same goes for Rose, Carmelo, Deron, Howard,CP3, Durant.

  17. onlyincleveland0316 - May 4, 2012 at 9:31 PM

    Have you gotten the LePubes out of your teeth yet, curt?

    • southbeachtalent - May 5, 2012 at 3:33 PM

      Apparently your LeScars haven’t healed yet.

      • progress2011 - May 6, 2012 at 2:02 PM

        Southbeach….now that’s funny !!!

        Ole stinky cleveland dude is a retard for wanting to be “only-in-cleveland” !

        The rest of America avoids that place like the plague.

        Remember what Joakim Noah said – ” What’s So Good About Cleveland – You like it?” Noah said. “You think Cleveland is cool? I’ve never heard anyone say, ‘I’m going to Cleveland on vacation.’”

        PRICELESS……ahahahahahaha

  18. mungman69 - May 4, 2012 at 10:12 PM

    He will win the championship this year

    • Mr. Wright 212 - May 5, 2012 at 12:50 AM

      Not without massive injuries and a complete breakdown by the Lakers, he won’t.

  19. jucam1 - May 4, 2012 at 11:15 PM

    Not a Bron fan, or a a Heat fan, but if you’ve been watching the Knicks series, you all know who’s winning the tittle…. He owns everyone right now. That jerk is winning this tittle easily, he is so much better that any one else, it’s sad…. This sucks

    • Mr. Wright 212 - May 5, 2012 at 12:50 AM

      They won’t beat anyone who comes out of the West (LAL).

      • southbeachtalent - May 5, 2012 at 3:27 PM

        4,025 and counting..

      • progress2011 - May 6, 2012 at 2:08 PM

        Delirious laker fan….Mr. Wrong,

        Didn’t ya’ll get worse, since last year:

        1. No Phil
        2. Depleted bench production
        3. No Triangle
        4. Jack-up-master (aka kobe) jacking up “everything” he gets his hands on. Dude finished 43% shooting on the season and only shot 30% in the last game. He still wouldn’t pass the friggin ball !!!

        I count on the jack-up master to shoot ya’ll outta games. “IF” you make it past Denver, you will be swept by the Thunder and definitely San Antonio.

  20. 00maltliquor - May 5, 2012 at 12:14 AM

    I’d like to see that 4th qtr. PER in only games against good teams that actually went down to the wire when it mattered most.

  21. trickybastard - May 5, 2012 at 12:46 AM

    Don’t put this on the fans KURT HEILIN. The criticism so LeBron is fueled by the media

  22. abchome - May 5, 2012 at 1:14 AM

    Not when the game is on the line…

  23. steelerswin6 - May 5, 2012 at 8:36 AM

    Does not matter LeLoser will choke in the playoffs as soon as they play someone who can keep it close.

  24. josh928 - May 5, 2012 at 9:54 AM

    Dirtybird2020 ur such an idiot. They should really revoke ur commenting privilege. Everytime u do it’s just something even more dumb

  25. trueballs - May 5, 2012 at 10:15 AM

    These are bread and butter articles for PBT. 34 comments and going…

    Telling Kurt to stop writing about LBJ would be like telling a shoe store to stop selling Air Jordans. Bad for business.

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