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LeBron’s Ridiculously Clutch Numbers Further Make His Case for MVP This Season
- Updated: March 18, 2017
The image of Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James performing in the clutch is something that’s constantly been on display over his 14 seasons in the NBA. The latest example of that came on Thursday night, when he scored 17 points during the fourth quarter to help the injury-plagued Cavaliers hold off the Utah Jazz.
The stats below show that James is at or near the top in a number of different categories in crunch time, with “clutch shooting” being defined as a player’s field-goal percentage in the final five minutes of regulation or overtime and neither team being ahead by more than five points.
76 players in the NBA have attempted 150 shots in the 4Q this year.
LeBron is 1st in FG%.
Kawhi is 30th.
Westbrook is 44th.
Harden is 64th.
— Rodney H. (@ReoBandss) March 17, 2017
LeBron also 2nd in the league shooting 53.7% in the Clutch
1st in Clutch 3P% (>20 attempts) at 53.8% https://t.co/1ppna2dcLT
— Mike Zavagno (@MZavagno11) March 18, 2017
Such numbers shouldn’t be surprising to either fans of the Cavaliers or basketball fans as a whole. Both of James’ crunch-time numbers are markedly different from James’ first two seasons back with the team.
In 2014-15, James shot 43.7 percent on all his clutch field-goal attempts and 42.3 percent when it came to 3-pointers. Last season, his clutch field-goal percentage dipped slightly to 42.4, while his three-point performance during this stretch declined considerably to 18.5 percent.
James’ improved precision from the field and his ability to connect from long-range over the course of an entire game have been staples of another MVP-caliber season. Whether or not he ends up being selected remains to be seen, but such numbers enhance the validity of any case that needs to be made on his behalf.