LeBron James was, without question, the best player in these NBA Finals. With 28.6 points, 10.2 rebounds, and 7.4 assists per game, James was historically great, leaving no doubt in the end that he won that thing.
He also couldn’t hit a shot.
LeBron was 19% from three point land and 26% on two-point attempts outside of three feet. In total, he was 24% on shots outside three feet. Show me those numbers before the Finals and I say, “Thunder in four.” James usually hits over 41% of these types of attempts, with a .362 three point percentage. These comparatively awful percentages would look disastrous for a man whose burden is the choking trope. I happen to believe that luck is a huge factor in success on jumpers. Looks like LeBron was unlucky at the exact wrong time.
And yet, James finished with a high 55.8% true shooting mark en route to all those aforementioned points. What the hell? How did this happen? Well, LeBron treated Thunder players like steps on his personal staircase to the hoop, averaging an incredible 10 shots per game at the rim. It wasn’t all driving, though the drives were gnarly. James was excellent off the ball, carving OKC’s defense with well-timed weak-side cuts. Oh, and he also averaged over 10 boards while making passes that evoked Magic Johnson memories.
This was a dominant performance from a player who, had he managed his usual shot percentages, would have scored nearly five more points per Finals game. LeBron James may have been unlucky in these Finals, but he didn’t need luck. LeBron was off. Still turned it on. That’s a true testament to greatness.