I made a comment a few months ago (in a post I'm not especially proud of) about how ESPN.com must be required to mention LeBron James as the lead story in any game he participates in, whether or not he actually played well. This was in reference to a game in which Ben Wallace played fantastic, but the lead was something to the effect of "LeBron's 20-something points not enough".
Today, we have the opposite-but-equal effect coming into play, as all the leads about last night's game refer to LeBron only scoring 10 points as the Cavs lose to the Pistons. On the radio this morning, all I heard coming in was that LeBron didn't score enough and he shouldn't have passed the ball on the last play of the game, he should have taken it to the hole. And pundits will take every opportunity to let us know that LeBron is not Michael Jordan or Magic Johnson, and that he still doesn't have what it takes to be a champion.
As always, let's take a look at the numbers, shall we? The box score of the game reveals that LeBron almost had a triple-double. Here is his line:
James, LeBron - 45 min, 10 points on 5-15 shooting, no free throws, 10 rebounds, 9 assists, 1 block, 4 steals, 2 turnovers, 1 foul. This gives him a Win Score of 11.5 for the game, a PAWS of 4.5 and a PAWSmin of 0.101. Calculating the approximate WP48 gives us 0.267, which is actually better than James' average for the year. Only Ilgauskas and Varejao played better in this game than LeBron did.
The real issue here is that none of the Cavs' outside shooters were on yesterday. Sometimes LeBron's shot will be off, but he usually finds other ways to contribute. If that happens, someone has to step up and start making outside shots. And no one did.
Sasha Pavlovic: 4-14
Donyell Marshall: 1-4
Eric Snow: 0-4
Larry Hughes: 4-13
Daniel Gibson: 0-4
Out of those five players, only Larry Hughes did ANYTHING else to redeem himself, garnering a few rebounds and a couple of steals. The other four players did nothing else but shoot poorly. And that is why Cleveland lost the game. LeBron and the post players did everything they could to give Cleveland the chance to steal the first game in Detroit, but the outside shooters couldn't make shots when they needed to. And if they want their season to extend past Game 5 in Detroit, someone besides LeBron will have to start making shots.
(Points + Rebounds + Steals + ½Assists + ½Blocked Shots – Field Goal Attempts – Turnovers - ½Free Throw Attempts - ½Personal Fouls) / Minutes = Win Score per Minute
- ▼ May (9)