I’ve never felt thrilled for another city’s fans. Not like this.
That is nearly the exact same intro I used for my column May 14, 2010, the day after the Cleveland Cavaliers were eliminated by the Boston Celtics — AKA the final game LeBron played as a member of the Cavs until his return last year.
“would you looka here readjack..Game 7, and the Bigs for the #Lakers had to come to the rescue once again…hmmmm”
That tweet came from my pal Shaun Davis as part of an ongoing discussion between the two of us concerning Kobe, LeBron, and the definition of hoops greatness. Mr. Davis was referring to Kobe Bryant’s 17-point Game 7 performance against the Denver Nuggets Saturday night, a truly poor showing for one of the League’s all-time greats, especially when you consider that Kevin Garnett — with one more NBA season to his name (and his legs) — posted a 28-14 with 5 blocks to close out Atlanta two nights before.
Shaun’s tweet got me thinking about Kobe, LeBron, and the gold standard Mr. Jordan, and put me in a mood for some statistical research concerning the low scoring playoff games of the League’s premier star and his two high profile successors. The sample section is every postseason game (through the first round of this year’s playoffs) in which the player in question played at least 30 minutes.
I’m going to leave the conclusions to you, the reader, and simply provide the findings. All stats are from Basketball Reference. Hit the game finder for your own discoveries.
*** UPDATED 21 MAY 2014 ***
I am updating this post today, in the middle of the playoffs, because why not? Also, to spice things up, I am adding Kevin Durant along with three categories. I will update again after the Finals.
*** UPDATED 29 MAY 2014 ***
LeBron set his new playoff scoring low last night with 7 points in Miami’s 93-90 loss. However, he only played 24 minutes, which is why I am leaving him off this list. Here is the box score.
*** UPDATED 2 JUNE 2016 ***
Amazing how quickly the NBA has changed. When I last updated this post, Steph Curry was a new All-Star scoring 24 points per game. Now he’s the two-time defending MVP and a member of the 30 ppg club. As such, we need to get him in here. Updated through Game 1 of the 2016 Finals.
*** UPDATED 21 MAY 2017 ***
LeBron threw up an 11-pointer tonight in Game 3 of the East Finals vs. Boston. Time to update.
And of course, KD and Steph are now teammates. I’ll update again after the Finals.
The magnificent, the massive, the only… Shaquille O’Neal
Originally completed June 2, 2011
Shaquille O’Neal has been in my life for 20 years. That alone is incredible. I don’t think of Shaq as “old,” but Shaq is so old that his likeness was used in the Super Nintendo video game NCAA Basketball, a game that once made my friend Luke vomit at Ray Weaver’s house because the entire court spun every time there was a possession change, and we had a sequence with about three steals in a row.
When I pulled off the 134 onto Verdugo Road in the Glassell Park area of Los Angeles, the strong and unmistakable good-to-be-back feeling that surged through me was a welcome surprise. My visit to my brother and our friends in April was a wonderful one – though I’d planned to return before the summer was out, I did not expect to feel such nostalgia for the intersection of Eagle Rock and Avenue 40. Continue reading “On the John: I’m going going, back back, to Cali Cali”
A nine-year-old Cleveland boy woke up this morning a new man. His world crumbled last night when the words “South Beach” fell on his ears. He was sitting in his inflatable Cleveland Cavaliers chair when it happened, wearing the child-sized JAMES 23 jersey his parents bought him for his eighth birthday. It was the only item on his list that year. Continue reading “On the John: Burn on, big river, burn on”