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Stat of the day: LeBron had some monster playoff games

May 25, 2012, 5:16 PM EDT

Miami Heat's James reacts after a missed play against the Indiana Pacers during the first quarter of Game 6 of their NBA Eastern Conference second round basketball playoff series in Indianapolis Reuters

With the Heat down 2-1 to the Indiana Pacers and no Chris Bosh on the horizon, LeBron James channeled his Cleveland self and, along with Dwyane Wade, carried the Heat into the Eastern Conference finals.

For LeBron’s legions of detractors it does not matter, because nothing he does will matter until he wins rings. Plural. The hatred of LeBron runs deep.

But for those of us still waiting to see how his career plays out before we judge him, you have to admit the guy has put up some big numbers in the playoffs. Not the biggest number. But big numbers none the less. We bring you this tweet from Chris Palmer of ESPN.

It was 13 before this last Indiana series.

He’s going to need to do more of that if the Heat plan to get past the Celtics or Sixers without Bosh and get back to the NBA finals.

  1. trybe29dr - May 25, 2012 at 5:25 PM

    This article is right about one thing detractors wont care what james does…even if he wins 20 titles

    • trueballs - May 25, 2012 at 5:44 PM

      detractors have a right to criticize for one thing, that is, his meltdown in the last finals. I’m sure his 44mpg in the other three series may have worn on him, but the depth and breadth of his meltdown was inexplicable.

      Other than that and maybe 1 or 2 other series, James has been an outstanding post-season player. He’s never lost in the first round. He’s been the primary scorer and facilitator on every playoff team and has takes the hardest defensive assignments. You can’t name one other person in history who has done that, has HAD to do that, and has done a decent job at it. Maybe Jordan, but not in as many instances.

      Remember Jerry West, who’s nickname is “Mr. Clutch” , lost 6 times in the finals before finally winning. Our standards of greatness are ridiculously high because of Jordan. No one will touch his legacy and résumé for a while.

      • trueballs - May 25, 2012 at 5:47 PM


      • mannyfresh209 - May 25, 2012 at 6:06 PM

        You are making 0 sense, sir.

      • angulocarlos1 - May 25, 2012 at 6:56 PM

        You my friend, sound like such an idiot

      • trueballs - May 25, 2012 at 7:20 PM

        I was trying to mock the trolls who come on here and think that Kurt Helin is the only person writing about LBJ in the NBA.

    • 808raiderinparadise - May 25, 2012 at 6:40 PM

      Very True. Speaks volumes of the type of haters that have accumulated.

      Pretty pathetic when these haters can’t call themsleves NBA fans, or fans of the game, because LeBron is a truly special player/talent/person for the league.

      He does everything on a court that you can teach, except win in the clutch, even that he has done but not in the meaningful games.

      Besides that, the guy is an amazing player and a GREAT teamate.

      20yr old that took cleveland to the finals ….. that was just silly a 20yr old will NEVER take a more worse team to the finals than he did that yr, only to be slaughtered by the Spurs HOF squad.

      He goes to the HEAT and everyone expected his stats to change … wrong still leads his team in EVERY major category … pts, assists, reb, steals Wade leads in blocks. amazing.

      1st team defender.
      3 time MVP.

      NEVER! ever threw a player/coach of his under the bus. Just a team lol Cleveland, the worst sports town in the country … gave him wally szerbiack, then old shaq and retired antwawn jameson. LMAO

    • gmsingh - May 26, 2012 at 8:42 AM

      Can we see him win one goddamn title first before we jump to such conclusions/

  2. Chris Ross - May 25, 2012 at 5:39 PM

    Lebron is unbelievable and it’s just the stars vs. the Pacers lack of stars that won them the series. They just went en fuego and the Pacers couldn’t match. Lebron and Wade showed why they teamed up and this is what people were expecting between the 2 on a more regular basis. Despite my hatred of Lebron, this is amazing, amazing stuff to watch from him, as well as Wade.

  3. rodge1 - May 25, 2012 at 5:48 PM

    The haters have nothing else to hold on to. Haters will always hate because it’s not about LeBron, it’s about the unhappiness in their own lives. Think about it, they actually hate a 20-something year old basketball player who is a good person. Not a dictator that oppresses an entire country or a rapist but a freaking basketball player. I know this because if LeBron had chosen to be on their team, they’d defend him too.

  4. tibbs7 - May 25, 2012 at 6:02 PM

    You can not like Lebron but still be in awe of his talent. Very deserving of the MVP again.
    I root against the Heat but do not foam at the mouth while doing so.
    When Lebron puts on the USA jersey I will be cheering as loud as anyone.

  5. delfi2 - May 25, 2012 at 6:38 PM

    I wonder, can they keep that pace up? If he has had a total of16, and three of them coming in one series against Pacers. Then, previous 13 were over 8-9 year span? There is no way then, that he can keep up with that insane pace. No?
    It would be EPIC, if these two unbelievable basketball players could lead this team sans a healthy Bosh, to a ‘ship?

  6. cured76 - May 25, 2012 at 7:14 PM

    Picking on Lebron is easy because it’s so obvious he could be one of the best to ever play, and as a fan I LOVE seeing greatness, but his place in history is constantly delayed because he hasn’t had the killer instinct to take over in that 4th quarter on a consistent basis. Being a team player is great but in the 4th quarter the ball can become a hot potato nobody wants and James, at times, was content passing that hot potato on down the line. But the dude is a physical marvel. For being so tall, his opponents won’t have anyone who can match his speed. If they do have someone fast enough, he’d just overpower them. He’s a matchup nightmare and when he doesn’t take advantage of his mismatches it drives fans nuts.

    But even Lebron’s struggles over the years pale in comparison to Blake Griffin’s 4th quarter output in the post-season this year. He was utterly useless against the Spurs and Memphis had his number most of the series, as well.

  7. 1972wasalongtimeago - May 25, 2012 at 8:13 PM

    Anyonebpulling for LBJ to fail is the type of person who bets the Don’t in Craps. You may ultimately be right, but you’re missing out on ALL the fun. And if you end up wrong, you feel like a huge piece of crap. So enjoy your lives

  8. joeksnuffy - May 25, 2012 at 8:30 PM

    No one is saying that Lebron hasn’t had big numbers and big games in the playoffs. He just hasn’t had big 4th quarters when it REALLY mattered. For some reason, the critique has morphed into: Lebron doesn’t show up in the playoffs.

    Even if he wins a ring or two or three… people will also say he needed Wade to get it done. Michael and Kobe stayed with the same teams their entire careers and let the franchises build around them. Lebron couldn’t get it done that way and hand picked a situation that would give him the best chance. Any rings he wins are already diminished because of it.

    • jizzojames - May 26, 2012 at 1:04 AM

      joeksnuffy: The last I checked the NBA has 4 12minute quarters and 5 people on the court at one time. Lebron wasn’t the only Heat player who lost in the finals last year, the whole team did. Lebron isn’t the only player on the court who can make a play, as every NBA player is paid well to come out compete, and perform. My point is this folks can talk about his fourth quarter play all day, but you have the whole game and a full roster to compete. He can and should step it up in the fourth, but don’t knock the game of basketball and compact it into the fourth quarter.

      • lucky5934 - May 26, 2012 at 4:23 AM

        Joeksnuffy & Jizzojames,

        There is a some truth in both of your opinions. Joeks is right that Lebron came up short in the NBA Finals last year. We all witnessed it so there is no denying it. It wasn’t so much that he missed shots and in a sense choked. We as a society are too overly critical of LeBron because he is not at MJ’s level yet (if ever). But very few people in the world of sports are ever going to reach MJ’s level. So we can back off of Lebron in that regards in my opinion. However, the criticism from last year’s finals was the number of shot attempts decreased in the 4th quarter. As one of the one best players in the league, and now a 3x MVP, we expect him to rise to the occasion to take those shots. He chose to pass those up. He intentionally faded into the distance against the Mavericks, and that ultimately is what turned me off to his play. As a performer, and a highly paid one at that, he is expected to step up and at the very least… make an effort. Which he did not do in a few of the games. He established a pattern in the NBA Finals because was ultimately afraid of failure. Role players are just that. Yes Jizzo, they can take the shots and it ultimately is a “Team” game. But Lebron is the leader. He was paid much higher than the role players because his expectations and talent dictate so. Wade steps up as a leader, but Lebron’s antics automatically (and somewhat unfairly) pushed him into that spotlight by the way he handled the transition from Cleveland to Miami. Ultimately, it is up to Lebron to erase the opinion the public has rightfully formulated. He can do that by winning a championship or two. But it unfortunately will never appease the fans who do not like how he conducts himself off the court.

  9. funktron2x - May 25, 2012 at 9:06 PM

    I wonder how it is so easy for people to forget LeBron’s wicked games in the playoffs against the Pistons, Magic and Wizards. so many clutch moments for LBJ in late playoff situations and people just ignore them.

    • lucky5934 - May 26, 2012 at 5:10 AM

      It is easy because it demonstrates a regression in high intensity moments when all eyes are on him. It is easy because we are a “What have you done for me lately” society that prefers to weigh what happened last year in the NBA Finals over what he did against teams 3-4 years ago or in the first couple rounds of the playoffs. Lebron is as physically talented as any player to ever play the game. That is not the issue. The issue is upstairs in his head. Once he decides he can and WILL take over a game when it matters most and decisively claim a championship with his own two hands… well that will be the day he silences the majority of his critics.

  10. anarchopurplism - May 25, 2012 at 9:15 PM

    Should we diminish Kobe’s rings because he played with Shaq? Or MJ’s rings because he played with Pippen? They are all top 50 greatest players.

    Because Lebron hand-picked a situation diminishes NOTHING. Your opinion is childly nostalgic. Guess what….guys move to different teams these days.

    Too bad Sir Charles or AI didn’t have a all-time NBA counter-part……oh wait, maybe Lebron did learn something.

    • lucky5934 - May 26, 2012 at 5:29 AM

      Kobe won a ring without Shaq. So that dispels that theory. Pippen was a good player who’s status was elevated by playing with Jordan. Not to mention both of those players never left their team for a chance at a championship. Lebron chose the easiest route to a championship. Or so he thought. I get that Cleveland failed to support him in the eyes of the LBJ fans, but in reality his team made the Finals once, and the Eastern conference Championships twice. He obviously did not do that alone. You are right about one thing though… players do move around in the NBA to different teams. But that is more because they do not have the resolve to will themselves to a championship like the legends of old. Players in today’s day and age although tough physically, are softer mentally and spoiled by things having come so easy to them all of their lives that they do not know how to handle adversity. Which is why we see situations like LBJ and Howard. Call it a nostalgic feeling if you like, but that fact is none of the all time greats ever made excuses of why they didn’t win. Winning is an attitude that comes from within, not who you play with.

      • Alex K - May 26, 2012 at 1:29 PM

        Pippen is an all time great player. You’re rewriting history to fit your narrative.

        Kobe didn’t win a ring without Shaq until Gasol was on his team. So in reality Kobe has never won a title without another top 10-15 player in the league on his team.

  11. jckid21 - May 25, 2012 at 9:26 PM

    Monster playoff games and no rings = Charles Barkley

  12. txnative61 - May 26, 2012 at 2:07 AM

    LBJ has an anti in the league, like anti-matter. Put his numbers beside Tim Duncan’s and see who gets canceled. Heat/Spurs final would really send him to oblivion.

    • txnative61 - May 26, 2012 at 2:37 AM

      Tim Duncan on trash talk, “I just quietly keep going at them, over and over and over, until they break. Nothing pisses them off more.”

  13. rezburna - May 26, 2012 at 3:57 PM

    Everybody considers Kobe Bryant to be the most clutch player in the NBA, and LeBron to be the opposite. When it comes to playoff game winning or game tying shot attempts in the last 24 seconds of a game, here are their career numbers:

    LeBron James: 5 of 12 (.416%)
    Kobe Bryant 7 of 25 (.357%)

    Kobe Bryant has statistically had horrible Finals performances, putting up big numbers on the scoreboard, but taking a mass amount of shots with a horrible percentage. He usually shoots around 41%. He’s always had the surrounding talent to make up for that other 59%.

    So those criticizing LeBron for not being “clutch”, Kobe isn’t clutch then either.

    For those saying LeBron doesn’t score in the 4th, he’s been in the top 5 of the league every year that he’s been in the NBA. He’s closed out more games for the Heat then Wade and Bosh combined. It’s all in the stats, and if you watch the game instead of SportsCenter you’d see it there too. Yeah, his stats dropped in the Finals last year. He deferred to Wade. He felt like it was Wade’s team. I’m pretty sure he doesn’t feel like that anymore.

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