Michael Jordan vs LeBron James v0.1

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MJ played 5 seasons without his hall of fame sidekick, Scottie Pippen.
His combined record in those seasons: 182-228.
All losing seasons.

LeBron James without his hall of fame sidekick, Dwyane Wade?
60+ wins.  Deep playoff runs.  Finals.
James shits 50 wins in his sleep (he shits in his sleep!?).

This one is not even close.

Kobe Bryant vs LeBron James v0.1

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JORDAN’S BEST PLAYER EFFICIENCY RATINGS:
31.7 — 31.6 — 31.2 — 31.1 — 29.8 — 29.7

LEBRON’S BEST PLAYER EFFICIENCY RATINGS:
31.7 — 31.6 — 31.1 — 30.7 — 29.4 — 29.1

KOBE’S BEST PLAYER EFFICIENCY RATINGS:
28.0 — 26.2 — 26.1 — 24.5 — 24.4 — 24.2

Kobe’s best season doesn’t even rank in LeBron’s top 6.

On Pacquiao-Bradley II

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The judges weren’t going to steal it from him this time.

Pacquiao beat Bradley soundly – again – and Bradley did not dispute the outcome, though he offered some sort of lame excuse about an injury. Bradley had his moments (a few big shots and a round 11 that showed some class and intelligence) but in the end he couldn’t hang with the Filipino hall of famer.  Side note:  I don’t think I’ve ever seen Bradley fight like he did last night – taunting Pacquiao and shaking his head to the crowd more than actually fighting in certain rounds.

Bradley also looked like his training may have included a Marquez-esque PED regimen, with the hope of landing a similarly steroid-fueled overhand right bomb ;).  “Wild” would be a good way to describe the majority of Bradely’s power shots – especially late. I think Bradley just naturally lacks pop though, so his hopes for a KO were probably completely misplaced from day one.

For Manny Pacquiao, you cannot overlook that he beat an undefeated fighter – ranked #3 lb for lb at the time – who is supposed to be in his physical prime. And Manny looked like the younger fighter. He was the one getting stronger as the fight went on. Pacquiao’s hand speed, accuracy and power is still there – though he does seem to be darting in and out less these days. He also appears to take just a little more time off in the middle rounds than he used to. But he’s still a buzzsaw (as was evident with some of his combos) and his left hand can still make you forget what day it is (which will probably never change).

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Next I’d like to see Pacquiao fight Juan Manuel Marquez again. I don’t think Mayweather is ever going to fight Pacquiao, so what else is there? Every Pacquiao-Marquez fight has been exciting, JMM is still a highly ranked fighter, so I don’t see why they shouldn’t do it again. As it stands the series is 2-1-1 Pacquiao. Marquez had the last word, but was it the last laugh?

Why LeBron James Is The 2013-14 NBA MVP

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LeBron’s MVP Credentials:

  • Leads his team in points, rebounds, assists, steals, threes and field goal percentage (only player in the league doing all of that).

  • Is the best defender on his team while leading it in points, rebounds, assists, steals, threes and field goal percentage (only player in the league who can make that claim).

  • Has a top 2 seed in his conference, while being the best defender on his team, who also leads it in points, rebounds, assists, steals, threes and field goal percentage (the best MVP argument in the league).

  • First player in NBA history to average 27/7/6 on 57% shooting (no one previously has even averaged 25/5/5 on 56% shooting, let alone LeBron’s line).

  • First player in NBA history to shoot 57% from the field and 38% from three (to be more precise, he’s shooting .569 and .378 – but the notion still applies).

  • First player in NBA history to make 100 threes while shooting 57% from the field (no one previously had even made 50 threes shooting at least 56% from the field, so LeBron is really blowing history out of the water in this regard).

  • Leads the league in RPM, top 2 in PER, top 2 in Win Share, top 3 in scoring, top 4 in field goal percentage, top 11 in assists, top 16 in steals (no one else in the league is top 16 in all of those categories).

  • Is not playing with another All-NBA or All-Defensive teammate in 2013-14 (hello, Serge Ibaka).

  • Had to cope with 19 different starting lineups and still has a top 2 seed in his conference.

  • Had to cope with 19 different starting lineups and without his 2nd best player for 29 games and still has a top 2 seed in his conference.

Kevin Durant has indeed had a fine season – but not nearly as unique as LeBron’s – so considering everything listed above I can find no justifiable reason to deny LeBron James his 5th MVP in 6 years.

On Mason Plumlee’s “Block” Of LeBron James

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It just occurred to me while reviewing this play for the last 10 minutes that what happened at the rim is irrelevant.

NBA Rulebook > COMMENTS ON THE RULES > II. BASIC PRINCIPLES > A. CONTACT SITUATIONS > 2. Guarding an Opponent:

A player who extends a hand, forearm, shoulder, hip or leg into the path of an opponent and thereby causes contact is not considered to have a legal position in the path of an opponent.

If followed per the rulebook the refs not only could’ve called a foul on Joe Johnson, but they should’ve called a foul on Mason Plumlee for initiating contact via extending his left hand into LeBron’s chest.

We’ve also spent a lot of time this year talking about the “rule of verticality” and it seems Plumlee violated that one as well.  Plumlee, being the player who initiated contact via an extended arm (making verticality impossible) should’ve been assessed some sort of foul.

plumsfoulvertical

 

On Kevin Durant’s 25-Point Game Streak

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After Kevin Durant scored 25 points for the 41st consecutive game, news outlets were awash with headlines like, “Durant Tops MJ’s 25-Point Game Streak” from Bleacher Report or “Kevin Durant Passes Michael Jordan’s 25-Point Scoring Streak” from Slam Magazine or “Durant had scored 25 or more points in 41 straight games – besting Michael Jordan’s streak of 40” from ProBasketballTalk.

What these outlets fail to mention is that Jordan’s streak was never just a 25-point game streak. It was a 27-point game streak. Jordan scored 27 points in 40 consecutive games. Durant’s streak story is presented in such a way as to make one assume that KD did something more impressive than scoring 27 points in 40 consecutive games. He didn’t. Durant’s streak of 27-point games ended at 25.

In any case, all of us are now aware that Wilt Chamberlain holds the regular season record for most consecutive 25-point games. But who holds the playoff record for most consecutive 25-point games?

I’m glad you asked. That would be a one LeBron “King” James.