Three Lebron James stats that prove he’s dragged the Cavaliers to the NBA Finals

Lebron James is dragging his side to the NBA Finals

If you hadn’t figured out already, Lebron James is pretty darn good at basketball.

So much so, in fact, he’s effectively carried his team to the NBA Finals – besting the likes of the Indiana Pacers, Toronto Raptors and most recently the Boston Celtics on his way.

With seemingly no help, the 33-year-old has lifted his team, the fans and the coaching staff on his shoulders as he vies for another Championship ring.

Here you can see three stats which show just how much heavy lifting he’s doing for the Cavs so far this post-season.

Lebron James’ playoff-leading PIE (Player Impact Estimate): 23.5

You might not be familiar with the NBA’s new-fangled PIE, but not to worry – we’ll fill you in.

PIE is one of the league’s newer measures of overall efficiency and impact a player has on a specific team. In Lebron’s case, he’s the leader in this stat in the playoffs, and by quite a length too.

As listed on Rustylarue.com: “PIE measures a player’s overall statistical contribution against the total statistics in games they play in. Basically it is giving you a percentage showing how much of a positive or negative impact a player had on a game.”

Lebron James

Lebron’s total of 23.5 is 4.3 higher than any other player, with Victor Oladipo the closest to the Cavs’ star.

This essentially means that Lebron’s overall impact for his team is larger than any other player for any other team.

Simply, when Lebron’s in, he controls games and does so in favour of his team.

Nobody does this better…

Lebron James’ top three usage rate: 36.2%

Usage rate is a much more commonly used statistic, and is a fairly simple one in comparison to PIE.

At the risk of oversimplifying a fairly complex statistic, it’s basic use is to determine how often a player is used by a specific team on the court.

It is simply an estimate of the percentage of team plays used by a player while he was on the floor.

Lebron, as you might expect, scored incredibly highly at 36.2%. Miles ahead of Stephen Curry (28.8%), Chris Paul (26.7%) and Damian Lillard (24.8%).

In fact, the only players who top Lebron in this category are Russell Westbrook (38.2%) and James Harden (36.7%), two ball dominant guards who regularly play isolation basketball.

This goes to show, Lebron is one of the most heavily used players in the playoffs – and that usage is yielding results.

Lebron James’ minutes per game: 41.3

A simple, yet effective measure of just how much a team relies on a player.

Lebron, who turns 34 in seven month’s time, is currently playing 41.3mpg – and didn’t spend a second on the bench in his recent game seven success over Boston.

You read that right. He didn’t sit. Not one moment (and the game before that he only took two minutes off).

Lebron James has rarely missed games, even at his age...

Lebron James has rarely missed games, even at his age…

It might seem a risk to put this kind of strain on an ageing player. You need only look at the likes of Dwyane Wade and Carmelo Anthony, two players from the very same draft to see how different a beast he truly is.

Those players have missed countless games through injury over the years. Lebron James has never missed more than 15% of a season, the one season he did clip that mark he took two weeks off due to a sore back.

Add to that, he’s never missed a play-off game. Never.

Tyronn Lue and the Cavaliers are riding Lebron, and until he begins to falter, they’re probably right to do so…

Luke Hatfield is the creator and editor of BouncyOrangeBall, with an extensive knowledge of the NBA and basketball in general.

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