Last night Lebron James completed his second 40+ point game in as many games to force a Game 7 in Oakland. Lebron joined Shaq (2000), MJ (1993), Rick Barry (1967), and Jerry West (1965 and 1969) as the only players to score 40+ points in back-to-back Finals games. The difference is mileage.
Lebron James is older, more experienced, and has much more mileage on his body now than the others did when they enjoyed back-to-back 40 point games in the Finals.
|Age||NBA Season||Reg. Season Minutes||Playoff Minutes||Total Minutes|
|Lebron James (2016)||31||13th||38,478||8,336||46,814|
|Shaquille O'Neal (2000)||27||8th||20,148||3,532||23,680|
|Michael Jordan (1993)||29||9th||25,842||4,645||30,487|
|Jerry West (1969)||30||9th||24,220||4,231||28,451|
|Rick Barry (1967)||22||2nd||6,165||614||6,779|
Right now, Lebron has played more minutes than Rick Barry and Jerry West played in their entire careers, more than Jordan did with his two stints with the Bulls, and more than Shaq had by the time he left Miami after his last title. The point is, that by the time most great players have played as many minutes as Lebron, they are Jordan with the Wizards, Shaq with the Celtics, or they are sitting at the broadcast booth or in the front office. They are NOT out dominating the Finals in every aspect. They are not throwing down ridiculous ally-oop jams and leading the Finals in scoring, rebounding, assists, blocks, and steals. They should not be embarrassing the league MVP and the most accomplished regular season team ever. Lebron has gotten my brunt for long enough and I cannot deny it any more. The man is super human. He has been able to continue his high level play for longer than anyone I have ever seen not named Karl Malone. In my mind, regardless of the outcome of Game 7, Lebron is the Finals MVP and this should be his second Finals MVP in a row.