As the young NBA season continues, it’s important we remember not to look too much into certain trends that may be short-lived. We must remain cautious of overreactions, especially with us only having a small sample size for this NBA year. Streaks inevitably die down. Most trends have a short life-span. Obviously, Steph Curry won’t average over 33 points per game for an entire season (At least I think…).
However, even with only a small portion of the NBA season in the books so far, there are some inferences we can draw. The first three weeks of the year have been very telling of the year LeBron James may be set to have. James’ stats in his first five games compared to his most recent five are staggering.
Through the first week or so it looked as if James would really cruise through the regular season. It’s not like he needs another regular season MVP award anyways; he already has four at home. What James really wants this year is his third ring and, in particular, the first Cleveland pro sports championship in what will be 52 years. So since James needs to save his body for the postseason, many predicted his numbers would take a big dip. And they did.
Through the first five games, James was averaging a horrid (for him) 22.2 points per game while shooting 49 percent from the field. He had no 30 point performances, and didn’t even look he was trying at times early on. His usual 27-7-7 stat line looked like it may be a rarity for this year. But then LeBron played his next five games.
He’s been scorching the last week and half, putting up 31.8 points per game on 52 percent shooting. He’s had four games of 30 or more in the last five, and is the main reason the Cavaliers are 8-2 and leading the East right now. Through three weeks of the season now, LeBron’s numbers have been looking more LeBron-like. His averages are back up to 27, 6.8, and 6.4, and he even has an above-career-average 2 steals per game. He’s still not playing as many minutes as he used to, but that seems like a smart choice by he and Blatt. James will have plenty of heavy lifting to do come May and June, so keeping his body relatively fresh will be key.
All in all, it’s been a great start for LeBron and his Cavs. They’re winning games, and James has his numbers back to normal after a shaky start to his campaign that included a 12 point outing in Memphis.
Now all the king has to fix is his 61 percent free throw percentage…