Jun 15, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT
Will LeBron James score 46 points and/or lead the Heat to victory in Game 5 on Sunday?
Either task will be difficult, and if LeBron accomplishes neither, Kevin Durant will lead the 2014 playoffs in points.
It would be just the fourth time a player led a postseason in scoring without reaching the Finals. The other three:
- 1990:Michael Jordan, Chicago Bulls
- 1989:Michael Jordan, Chicago Bulls
- 1961:Elgin Baylor, Los Angeles Lakers
Perhaps even more remarkably, LeBron is poised to become the only player in the Finals to rank in the top four of scoring this postseason. Here’s the current leaderboard:
1. Kevin Durant (OKC), 563
2. LeBron James (MIA), 517
3. Russell Westbrook (OKC), 507
4. Paul George (IND), 429
5. Tony Parker (SAS), 384
6. Tim Duncan (SAS), 360
7. Dwyane Wade (MIA), 345
8. Manu Ginobili (SAS), 311
Will Parker score 45 points Sunday? I’d even bet against him scoring 45 in the next two games combined if the series reaches a Game 6.
Here’s how frequently four, three and two Finals players have cracked the top four in postseason scoring:
- Four: 30
- Three: 26
- Two: 11
Only one would be a first.
Here’s a full history of the top four scorers in each postseason.
NBA champions are blue. Finals losers are orange. LeBron – whose fate has yet to be determined – is green. Those who didn’t reach the Finals are white and therefore don’t appear here.
To view a larger version with the ability to mouse over players and see more info, click here.
The Spurs, if they hold on to win the series before one of their players climbs the scoring ranks, would become just fifth NBA champion without a player in the top four of postseason scoring. The four to do it:
- 1990 Detroit Pistons
- 1963 Boston Celtics
- 1961 Boston Celtics
- 1960 Boston Celtics
Maybe this says something about the value of balance and teamwork. Maybe it’s just coincidence.
I’m not sure. I just found it interesting.
Mar 28, 2015, 12:30 PM EDT
Clark played key bench minutes the same day he was signed.
Mar 28, 2015, 11:00 AM EDT
Cuban went off after the Mavericks were blown out by the Spurs.
Mar 28, 2015, 9:45 AM EDT
Warriors keep rolling, while the Grizzlies are starting to feel like a first round loss.
Mar 28, 2015, 8:30 AM EDT
Highlight-reel play came near the end of a loss to the Nets.
Mar 27, 2015, 11:44 PM EDT
LeBron refused to be dismissive of a seemingly harmless regular season loss.
Mar 27, 2015, 10:30 PM EDT
O’Neal made the remarks while being inducted into the Orlando Magic Hall of Fame.
Mar 27, 2015, 9:30 PM EDT
The injuries continue to pile up for the Rockets.
Mar 27, 2015, 8:30 PM EDT
The battle between Green and Doc Rivers continues in the funniest of ways.
Mar 27, 2015, 7:25 PM EDT
Blatt knows James is unlikely to get the league-wide award this season.
Mar 27, 2015, 6:12 PM EDT
The Thunder defense has become a mess, which is bad for the playoffs.
Mar 27, 2015, 5:18 PM EDT
What is in James Harden’s beard?
Mar 27, 2015, 4:32 PM EDT
He is likely a middle second round pick if he comes out.
Mar 27, 2015, 3:45 PM EDT
It’s pretty spot on. And cold-blooded.
Mar 27, 2015, 3:09 PM EDT
He should be back next season, the final one of this contract with Oklahoma City.
Mar 27, 2015, 2:16 PM EDT
Drake and Lou Williams are tight.
Mar 27, 2015, 1:32 PM EDT
Cousey said not Shaq, not Ewing, nobody reminded him of Russell like Whiteside.
Mar 27, 2015, 12:42 PM EDT
You do not see this every day.
Mar 27, 2015, 11:55 AM EDT
As everyone braces for 2016 spike, another big bump could follow
Mar 27, 2015, 10:55 AM EDT
LeBron James and a lot of stature are gone, but with the more-modest goal of just making the playoffs, Miami’s new point guard embracing the challenge
Mar 27, 2015, 10:19 AM EDT
Pelicans star missed eight free throws in setback to Houston
- Mark Cuban rips officials, NBA: ‘It’s criminal’ how Monta Ellis doesn’t get calls 8
- Shaquille O’Neal says he regrets leaving Magic for Lakers 28
- Cavaliers coach David Blatt: ‘LeBron James is our MVP’ 20
- No Durant, what does that mean for Thunder in these playoffs? Trouble. 15
- Kevin Durant to have third foot surgery; is done for season, playoffs 38
- Goran Dragic leading feisty Heat’s playoff push 28
- NBA Draft prospect matchups to watch in NCAA Tourament this weekend 2
- Report: LeBron James frustrated with Kevin Love for not fitting in 85