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LeBron James passes Michael Jordan in playoff counting stat

Indiana Pacers v Miami Heat - Game 4

Indiana Pacers v Miami Heat - Game 4

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LeBron James slammed a highlight dunk, scored 32 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and dished five assists.

All in all, the Heat’s Game 4 win over the Pacers was a pretty ho-hum outing for LeBron.

And that’s absolutely ridiculous.

Games like this shouldn’t be routine. Thanks to LeBron, they seem like they are.

In the last six years, LeBron has hit 32-10-5 in the playoffs more than the rest of the NBA combined (12 times to 11). Rejigger the point-rebound-assist numbers a little, and LeBron took the all-time lead last night.

Is LeBron the greatest player ever?

No. Not yet. He just hasn’t played long enough to deserve it. Being the greatest player ever requires both an incredible peak — check — and a lengthy run of being at least very good. LeBron doesn’t quite have the latter yet.

But he’s getting there. LeBron will retire as the greatest player of all time, and the more he passes Jordan in counting stats, the more difficult that will be to deny.

For now, though, Jordan retains his title.

The cutoffs were set to give LeBron the edge. Make it 30-5-5 games, and Jordan holds the lead. Jordan was arguably better in his 25-5-5 playoff games than LeBron was in his:

  • LeBron: 32.2 points, 9.3 rebounds and 7.4 assists
  • Jordan: 35.3 points, 7.8 rebounds and 7.5 assists

On the other hand, LeBron has hit 25-5-5 in nearly half his playoff games. Nobody else on that list comes close:

  • LeBron James: 49%
  • Michael Jordan: 41%
  • Larry Bird: 32%
  • Kobe Bryant: 24%
  • Jerry West: 30%

At some point, LeBron will decline and his percentage will fall as he adds more postseason games to the sample that don’t occur during his prime. But that day is still a ways off.

In the meantime, LeBron is just beginning his run of beating Jordan’s career records.