Jun 15, 2014, 8:00 AM EST
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 6, 2015, 9:43 AM EST
It was a big win, but still
Mar 6, 2015, 9:07 AM EST
Former Celtics star continues what he began Wilkins’ rookie year
Mar 6, 2015, 8:30 AM EST
He said his Achilles has been bothering him.
Mar 6, 2015, 8:00 AM EST
The form wasn’t pretty but the result was.
Mar 6, 2015, 3:10 AM EST
Westbrook is still a machine
Mar 6, 2015, 12:53 AM EST
This hurts the Blazers guard depth.
LeBron James after receiving two flagrant fouls in his last three games: ‘Maybe I got to protect myself a little bit more’
Mar 6, 2015, 12:00 AM EST
James hints at retaliation.
Mar 5, 2015, 11:00 PM EST
Pacers’ David West made the assertion after Denver fired head coach Brian Shaw.
Mar 5, 2015, 10:00 PM EST
Ibaka comes up with a massive rejection.
Mar 5, 2015, 9:00 PM EST
Gasol is too skilled.
Mar 5, 2015, 8:00 PM EST
We all saw it at the time, but the league confirmed the missed call the next day.
Mar 5, 2015, 7:00 PM EST
Hamilton was a piece in the Goran Dragic trade.
Mar 5, 2015, 6:15 PM EST
Dragic has praise for the Suns organization.
Mar 5, 2015, 5:30 PM EST
The NBA wants to raise it to 20.
Mar 5, 2015, 4:45 PM EST
Westbrook has had four consecutive triple-doubles.
Steve Kerr on MVP race: “If Daryl Morey wants to run his own one-man campaign for James Harden, he can do that”
Mar 5, 2015, 4:00 PM EST
Kerr hasn’t been publicly lobbying for Curry.
Mar 5, 2015, 3:11 PM EST
Recapping a month-long Nike Basketball training experience, which featured workouts run by Tim Grover, Jerry Powell and Idan Ravin — who have trained guys like Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant and LeBron James. Also includes performance reviews of Nike’s latest basketball shoes.
Mar 5, 2015, 2:31 PM EST
Dispute reportedly over terms of second season
Mar 5, 2015, 1:36 PM EST
Sager will be on the sidelines for Thursday night’s Bulls-Thunder matchup.
Mar 5, 2015, 1:26 PM EST
Bulls guard pledges money to school
- Five Things We Learned in NBA Thursday: Nobody can stop E’Twaun Moore; Westbrook’s pretty good, too 8
- Training like the Pros: Recapping a month-long Nike Basketball workout experience 3
- Report: JaVale McGee can’t reach deal with Celtics 11
- Craig Sager makes long-awaited return to TNT after 11-month battle with leukemia 7
- Five Things We Learned in NBA Wednesday: Masked Russell Westbrook just needs a cape 20
- George Karl: Knicks could use a strong point guard next to Carmelo Anthony 14
- Ray Allen announces he will not play this season 14
- Pelicans’ Anthony Davis a gametime decision Wednesday vs. Pistons 1