HANG TIME NEW JERSEY — LeBron James established himself as the best player in the world about six years ago. He carried the Cleveland Cavaliers to the best record in the league two years in a row, moved to Miami, got to The Finals three times, and won two championships.
This season, Carmelo Anthony set a new Madison Square Garden record, Kevin Durant has put up 40-plus on a regular basis, and Terrence Ross (Terrence Ross?) dropped 51. And as all these other guys were putting up big scoring numbers, you realized that it had been almost nine years since the league’s best player had established his career high of 56 points, a number less than the career highs of guys like Gilbert Arenas, Michael Redd, Jerry Stackhouse and Deron Williams.
Well, James went and got his on Monday, dropping 61 on the Bobcats, the same team that surrendered Melo’s 62 less than six weeks ago. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Charlotte is the first team to allow more than one 60-point game in the same season since 1962.
Here’s James’ shot chart, which includes just one bucket from the right side of the floor …
A few more thoughts and numbers…
- James shot 22-for-33, but didn’t make more than three straight shots until he ran off six straight spanning the third and fourth quarters.
- James’ eight 3-pointers tied his career high, set in February of 2009. The 12 total shots he hit from outside the paint also tied a career high.
- James shot 10-for-12 in the restricted area. He has shot 40-for-43 in the restricted area in his last five games and leads the league in restricted area field goal percentage (minimum 100 attempts) at 79.8 percent, the highest mark of his career.
- James shot 3-for-5 (3-for-4 from 3-point range) on catch-and-shoot jumpers and 8-for-13 (5-for-6 from 3-point range) on pull-up jumpers. For the season, he has an effective field-goal percentage of 67.4 percent on catch-and-shoot jumpers, a mark that ranks second (behind only Kyle Korver) among 200 players who have attempted at least two per game. He has an effective field goal percentage of 42.1 percent on pull-ups, a mark that ranks 41st among 84 players who have attempted at least two per game.
- According to SportVU, he shot 67 percent on both contested shots (10-for-15) and uncontested shots (12-for-18).