The Finals Stat: Game 2

VIDEO: Nightly Notable: LeBron James

The basics
Pace 90.5 90.5
OffRtg 108.6 105.7
EFG% 58.6% 51.2%
OREB% 16.1% 25.0%
TO Ratio 17.7 12.1
FTA rate 0.300 0.244

SAN ANTONIO — The Miami Heat defeated the San Antonio Spurs 98-96 in Game 2 of The Finals on Sunday. One stat stood out from the rest as the Heat evened the series at one game apiece as it heads to Miami for Games 3 and 4.

The stat

8 – Baskets by LeBron James from outside the paint, all in the second half.

The context

James got out on the break and got to the basket in the first half of Game 2, shooting 6-for-9 in the restricted area and 0-for-2 from mid-range. In the second half, the Spurs were able to cut off the paint, forcing him to take all 11 of his shots from the outside.

But he made eight of them. He was 5-for-8 from mid-range and 3-for-3 from 3-point range. That was more baskets from outside the paint than the rest of the Heat (7-for-28) had all game. James’ 35 points were the second most he’s scored in 24 Finals games, only topped by the 37 he scored in Game 7 last year.

James’ eight baskets from outside the paint were his most in 31 games (since he scored 43 points in a win in Cleveland on March 18). When his jumper is falling, there’s not much the defense can do.

It wasn’t falling through the first six games of last years Finals. As the Spurs sagged off him and dared him to shoot, James was just 21-for-62 (34 percent) from outside the paint in those six games. And if Chris Bosh doesn’t get that rebound and Ray Allen doesn’t hit that three at the end of regulation of Game 6, that would be that.

But in Game 7 last year, James was 9-for-20 from outside the paint. And he’s now 12-for-21 from outside the paint in this series. He’s had as many baskets from the outside in his last three Finals games as he had in his previous seven (he was 0-for-4 in Game 5 vs. Oklahoma City in 2012).

James still isn’t nearly as dangerous on the perimeter as he is in the paint, but if he’s hitting from outside, the Spurs have no choice but to play him closer. And that can open up lanes to the basket or shots for his teammates.

And as long as James is on the floor, the Heat offense is dangerous. Since halftime of Game 1, Miami outscored San Antonio by 22 points with James on the floor and has been outscored by 30 with him on the bench.

Pace = Possessions per 48 minutes
OffRtg = Points scored per 100 possessions
EFG% = (FGM + (0.5 * 3PM)) / FGA
OREB% = Percentage of available offensive rebounds obtained
TO Ratio = Turnovers per 100 possessions
FTA Rate = FTA / FGA


  1. KB24 says:

    Spurs would have been up 3-0 tonight if not for the dwade flop and the calls on kawhi, lebron or no lebron.

  2. Kimmylovesthethunder says:

    No one person has an answer for the King, Lebron James. But maybe the San Antonio Slurs do, collectively. I’m tired of the Heat winning every year! No fair!

  3. Hamish says:

    The only people who continually say “LeBron shouldn’t be compared to Jordan” are those who continually state Jordan is better than LBJ. Different players, different time. Both are easily the best players in their era.

  4. GO MIAMI HEAT says:


  5. marko says:

    The heat should win, they have the most superstars Miami can buy, but their rings won’t mean that much, since they were bought rather than earned. My understanding is that Ray Allen, for instance, signed on just to get a ring; probably took a pay cut to stay within the bounds of the salary cap. That cheapens the championship as well as the trophy and rings.

    Take James out of the equation and Miami won’t win; that was proven in game one with James exit in the 4th quarter. Remove Wade, Bosch and Allen, but leave James in and Miami still wouldn’t win. James needs backup in order to win. He couldn’t win with just him and 4 other normal players.

    • PLAYER says:

      First. All basketball player wants a ring. what are you talking about. That’s why they play basketball, to get a ring. Second, Its a team game. anybody needs somebody to win. Kobe need Shaq as Michael needs Pippen, Duncan needs Parker and Manu as KD needs Westbrook and Ibaka. Have you seen A bunch of bench warmers winning the trophy?

    • Hamish says:

      The rings were earned… by you saying they were bought, you are devaluing the teams they had to beat (Spurs etc.) who were all championship capable…
      Just because players take pay cuts to have a chance at winning a ring (think LBJ moving from Cleveland taking a pay cut) doesn’t mean they are “bought” – it’s the dream to win the greatest thing in basketball!!!

  6. ZeManel says:

    The only reason Lebron have such great number of haters is because everyone loves Jordan. He is the only one ever who threats the legacy of the greatest one and really can beat it if everything turns well. Whoever is not for the Heat it´s against Lebron, no matter what team you root. I´ve seen this in other sports, it´s human condition and logic.

  7. Sheldon says:

    Why does anyone care who is better? You can never compare any two players from different generations because there are too many variables. That is why Magic and Bird looked like the best player of their generation, Jordon of his and now Lebron this present generation. Don’t you think Jerry West looked liked the best player of his generation? The game is forever evovling, along with the rules and also the athletes; currently there is a new highschool sensation…a 7’1 point guard, Thon Maker! 20 years ago players above 6’5 could barely dribble. No one ever thought there would be somone better then Magic, then came Jordan. No one thought there would be someone better then Jordan, then came Lebron…so you don’t think in the next decade or two there won’t be someone with even more skills? To everyone, enjoy these guys remarkable talent and don’t get caught up in stats and rings. And to Carlos, who uses an All Star game for a comparison? Right now Lebron is King of the court, you’re the one who sounds like a bitch!

    • saeed says:

      I just watched Thon Maker on Youtube. He is a combination of Durant and Hakeem (at least in High School).
      A Hakeem with brilliant perimeter shooting and a Durant with tremendous defensive skills.

  8. saeed says:

    So a comment regarding the Jordan-James comparison is confirmed a show but my comment related to the subject not. You’d better show my denied-and-garbaged comment on this one else you will lose your unbiasedness admin.
    I still think this is not a good article as it is written biased (a little) and the stats are selective.

  9. Brian says:

    Who’s need Home court advantage, This is how the champion play, how champion win….Go Heat.

  10. Kirby Record says:

    The Jordan companions are meaningless since they play different positions. They are equally amazing at their respective positions. But no one in the game has had James’s offensive and defensive versatility, including Jordan. Could he play all five positions both on offense and defense? Obviously not, he was not an inside player. Lebron is phenomenal both inside and outside. Not better than Jordan but more versatile. They are just different players.

  11. theking0522 says:

    Spurs should be down 0-2..Only turning off the AC can save them…They have no answer for Lebron

  12. Andrew says:

    As a person I think I might like Lebron better than Jordan, but his talent isn’t on the same level. Sorry, he’s just too clunky (shoulders his way to the hole as often as using moves to get there) and travels in almost every game. I don’t know why the refs don’t call it, but I see him traveling in many highlight reels. If they aren’t bothering to remove the travels from the highlight reel, it makes me wonder how many non-traveling plays of Lebron’s there are for them to choose from. Even in this clip he switches pivot feet before one of his shots. During the game he took three steps going to the hole and they showed the replay without mentioning it. I think it’s because he’s not as agile as Jordan, but still tries to drive like him.

    • boompanes says:

      typical heat & lebron james hater… get over yourself bro!!! he’s not jordan… he’s LEBRON JAMES

    • Mike says:

      You sound like an idiot. No where in that highlight reel does he swith his pivot foot or travel. You must not know basketball. He does travel in some games and it’s not called but so does Kobe and every other NBA player and I’m sure Jordan did as well. And to say LeBron isn’t on the same level is idiotic. LeBron is more athletic than Jordan was. I won’t say he’s better than Jordan yet, but he is most definitely on his way to be. Hater.

    • Game Time says:

      ….Lebron doesn’t mimic a single thing from Jordan, unlike some people. His game is his own with some help from the likes of Hakeem.

      I suggest you go watch some MJ highlights if you think James is traveling. I remember the people who didn’t like Jordan used to say the same thing. Just a dumb way to criticize a player since they have nothing else to say.

  13. Jefrey Landicho says:

    I just realized lebron cares more about the ring that a season award

  14. Jill says:

    James is a monster that deserves all credit for the win. He is complete. I can see him in two years. Jordan will look like in his fifth year compared to Bron. His critics saying no comparison to Jordan. The truth is he is better than Jordan if we take in consideration his age and skill. Time to shut the critics up and enjoy every game he is playing. It is so much fun to see such a talented player

    • Name says:

      if i could click a like button i would.

    • Luis says:

      Couldn’t agree more, LeBron was “in the zone” tonight. Excellent series thus far

    • Dan says:

      Well said.And if he didn’t cramped on that game one,this series will be over in Miami.The most talented player to play the basketball game at the moment.

      • Carlos says:

        all four of you guys have no clue what your talking about! LeBron would be on MJ nutz on every highlight. He would find LeBron weak spot much like Kobe did in the All Star game couple years ago an exploit it and turn Lebron into LaBitch real quick. Yes against all the pussies he plays now he is a KING without a doubt but please LeBron better than MJ even he would be so ignorant to say such a thing

      • Game Time says:

        This fool is talking about the All-Star (exhibition) game, but doesn’t want to mention how many times James has owned Kobe in the regular season.