Friday, June 01, 2007

The sports world is abuzz over last night's performance by Cleveland's LeBron James in his team's double-overtime win at Detroit in the NBA's Eastern Conference finals. It wasn't merely that James scored 48 points in giving his team a 3-2 series lead.

James scored the Cavaliers' final 25 points of the game, 29 of their last 30. Quoting from this game article, "He was the only Cavs player to make a field goal in the last 17:48 and the only one to score in the final 12:49."

This particular type of accomplishment is obviously a function of both James's offensive prowess and his teammates' inability to score. If we look at the game's play-by-play sheet, focusing on the final 17:48 (the last 7:48 of the fourth quarter, excluding a basket by Zydrunas Ilgauskas at the 7:48 mark that starts the clock running on our analysis, and then the two overtimes), we can see the shooting percentages for both James and the non-James Cavaliers (in the aggregate).

During the final 17:48, by my count...

James was 11 of 14 from the field, his made field goals roughly an equal blend of long-distance shots (two made three-pointers and a bunch of long two-pointers) and layups/dunks. He was also 5 of 9 from the free-throw line.

In contrast, the non-James Cavaliers were 0 for 10 from the field and 1 of 2 from the stripe.

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