He’s the statistical equivalent to the holy grail, practically mythologized by his all-too-real stats.
James is an unstoppable force on offense. The 27.3 points per game are impressive, but that figure is merely a canvas. The picture starts to come alive when you consider that he’s shooting 56.8% from the floor.
James takes about 18 shots per game, the vast majority of which are jump-shots. He’s still knocking down about 11 of those shots. In fact, he’s even knocking down three -pointers at a 41% clip. That’s just his shooting.
James also happens to be dishing out 7.3 assists per game, snagging 8.1 rebounds, breaking away with near 2 steals per contest, and sending an opponents’ shot per game to an unsuspecting fan in the stands.
As if that wasn’t enough, James is well on his way to having the most efficient season in history.
Going into this season, the all time leader in PER (player efficiency rating) was the incomparable Wilt Chamberlain. The 1962-63 season in which Chamberlain hit that mark saw him simply overwhelm anything in his vicinity. He scored 44.8 points per game, shooting at nearly 53%. Chamberlain also brought down 24.3 points per game. Considering stats like that, his ridiculously efficient PER of 31.8 is understandable.
James is now at 31.9. He went through a stretch of six games when he scored at least 30 points while also hitting at least 60% of his shots. Stat heads everywhere understand how bonkers that combination really is. Even casual fans have to be impressed considering the amount of pull up J’s and turnarounds that James puts up.
With LeBron seemingly not slowing down anytime soon, it’s hard to imagine him not surpassing Chamberlain’s all-time PER high.
Last night, the Heat earned a tough win against an inspired Sacramento squad. In two overtimes, James led the Heat with his 40 points, 16 assists, and 8 rebounds. In his 48 minutes on the floor, James hit 61% of his field goals and 11 of 12 free throws.
Through tests and trials of an NBA season, James continues to evolve.
–H/T to ESPN’s Tom Haberstroh
Twitter handle: @Abdi_hakim.