WE are one game into LeBron James’ 43rd playoff series and you have to wonder if we’ve ever seen him play better. His stellar showing against the Pacers barely kept the Cavs alive, but it isn’t the first time he has dragged his team out of a tough spot in the playoffs. The King is used to overcoming adversity and plenty of times throughout his career he has defied the odds when they were stacked up against him.
IF you like what you read be sure to check out more SportsbyFry articles by hitting this link. Make sure you keep up to date with the latest NBA articles and follow my fan pages on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to never miss a minute of the action!
7. East Finals 2007 vs Pistons
Series Stats: 46.0 MPG, 25.7 PPG, 9.2 RPG, 8.5 APG, 0.5 BPG, 2.7 SPG, 44.9 FG%
Down 0-2 things were looking tough for Cleveland heading into Game 3. LBJ responded by dropping 32, 9 and 9, but that wasn’t why he features here. In one of the most dominant postseason performances we have ever seen, James owned Game 5, dropping 48 points (including the teams final 25 points) in a double-overtime win over Detroit. They would then go on to win Game 6 and earn a maiden trip to the NBA Finals. At just 22 years old, playoff LeBron was born.
6. East First Round 2006 vs Wizards
Series Stats: 47.2 MPG, 35.7 PPG, 7.5 RPG, 5.7 APG, 0.7 BPG, 1.3 SPG, 51.0 FG%
IN his first ever playoff series the spotlight was well and truly on LeBron James. And he did not disappoint. In Game 1 he played every second of the 48 minutes available and notched up a triple-double, becoming just the third player to have one in his playoff debut. He wasn’t finished there, coming up big hitting the game-winner while the series was locked at 2-2, before finishing things off in Game 6 by playing every minute of the Cavs’ 114-113 overtime win. Not a bad way to start your postseason career.
Image from si.com
5. East Finals 2012 vs Celtics
Series Stats: 45.9 MPG, 33.6 PPG, 11.0 RPG, 3.9 APG, 1.3 BPG, 1.1 SPG, 52.7 FG%
THE reason this series ranks so high on his list of accomplishments is because of what he achieved in Game 6. To set the scene, Miami fell to Dallas the previous year and they were in perilous territory down 3-2 to the Celtics facing Game 6 in Boston. Once again his team required LeBron to go above and beyond to get a win, so he stepped up with 45 points and 15 rebounds, missing just seven shots and avoiding elimination. Of course, he followed that up with 31 points in Game 7, en route to his first NBA title ever.
4. East First Round 2018 vs Pacers
Series Stats: 41.1 MPG, 34.4 PPG, 10.1 RPG, 7.7 APG, 1.0 BPG, 1.4 SPG, 55.3 FG%
AT the age of 33 and with so many miles on his body, people shouldn’t be able to do what James did against Indiana over the last fortnight. He averaged over 34 points and came up time and time again, scoring 40+ three times and hitting a buzzer beater to claim Game 5. Cleveland shouldn’t have been in this position, but they found themselves in a hole after the rest of James’ teammates failed to fire. Once again though we were reminded, if you have LeBron James in uniform, all is well.
3. NBA Finals 2015 vs Warriors
Series Stats: 45.8 MPG, 35.8 PPG, 13.3 RPG, 8.8 APG, 0.5 BPG, 1.3 SPG, 39.8 FG%
WITH Keven Love injuring himself in the first series of the ’15 playoffs and Kyrie Irving going down in Game 1 of the Finals, everyone expected the Warriors to cruise to the title. LeBron wasn’t about to roll over and let them have it though, single-handedly trying to keep the Cavs afloat with multiple 40-point games and triple-doubles while managing an insane workload. It wasn’t enough to get them over the line, but he was unlucky to not become the second player to win the Finals MVP from a losing squad.
2. East Finals 2009 vs Magic
Series Stats: 44.3 MPG, 38.5 PPG, 8.3 RPG, 8.0 APG, 1.2 BPG, 1.2 SPG 44.9, FG%
PERSONALLY, I remember this series like it was yesterday. Around this time was when I was starting to gain access to a lot more NBA action thanks to the ever-expanding Internet and James picked the perfect time to go off. He hit 20 shots in the first game of the series, finishing with 49 points, nailed a game-winning buzzer-beating shot to claim Game 2 and nearly did the same thing again in Game 4. Even though they went on to lose to Orlando in six games, it’s hard to exclude the series were LeBron was at the peak of his powers scoring the rock.
1. NBA Finals 2016 vs Warriors
Series Stats: 42.0 MPG, 29.7 PPG, 11.3 RPG, 8.9 APG, 2.3 BPG, 2.6 SPG, 49.4 FG%
Statistically, LeBron has had better playoff series, but this is the finest moment of his career. Down 3-1 the Cavaliers never say die attitude saw them claw their way back to force a deciding Game 7. He didn’t get there by accident, scoring 41 points in both Game 5 and Game 6 to hold off the Warriors. We all know how that now infamous Game 7 unfolded and LeBron James lived up to his promise of delivering Cleveland a championship.
Banner from nba.com