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LeBron James is really, really good in elimination games. Let's remember how good.

May 26,2018 05:37

LeBron James will play in his 22nd career elimination game, according to Basketball-Reference, against the Boston Celtics in Game 6 of the Cleveland Cavaliers' conference finals series. To the surprise of absolutely nobody, he's really good in these ...

LeBron James is really, really good in elimination games. Let’s remember how good. - SBNation.com

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LeBron James will play in his 23nd career elimination game, according to Basketball-Reference, against the Boston Celtics in Game 7 of the Cleveland Cavaliers’ conference finals series. To the surprise of absolutely nobody, he’s really good in these situations.
James has won 13 of the 22 elimination games he’s played, most famously mounting a comeback down 3-1 in the finals against the Golden State Warriors and their unanimous MVP Stephen Curry in 2016. His efficiency has been up-and-down, but what we know is that Possible Elimination James is a much different beast than the already explosive Playoff James.
Celtics fans should be worried heading into Game 7, where The King will have every opportunity he wants to dismantle his opponent. It’s been eight years since LeBron’s missed the finals, and there’s no indication he’s ready to concede now.

He’s been here before.
Here’s how LeBron’s team’s elimination games have ended (wins in italics)
2006, Pistons beat Cavs in Game 7, Conference semis
2007, Spurs beat Cavs in Game 7, Finals
2008, Cavs beat Celtics in Game 6, Conference semis
2008, Celtics beat Cavs in Game 7, Conference semis
2009, Cavs beat Magic in Game 6, Conference finals
2009, Magic beat Cavs in Game 7, Conference finals
2010, Celtics beat Cavs in Game 6, Conference semis
2011, Mavs beat Heat in Game 6, Finals
2012, Heat beat Celtics in Game 6, Conference finals
2012, Heat beat Celtics in Game 7, Conference finals
2013, Heat beat Pacers in Game 7, Conference finals
2013, Heat beat Spurs in Game 6, Finals
2013, Heat beat Spurs in Game 6, Finals
2014, Spurs beat Heat in Game 5, Finals
2015, Warriors beat Cavs in Game 6, Finals
2016, Cavs beat Warriors in Game 5, Finals
2016, Cavs beat Warriors in Game 6, Finals
2016, Cavs beat Warriors in Game 7, Finals
2017, Cavs beat Warriors in Game 4, Finals
2017, Warriors beat Cavs in Game 5, Finals
2018, Cavs beat Pacers in Game 7, First Round
2018, Cavs beat Celtics in Game 6, Conference Finals
Here’s a look at each of LeBron’s stats in elimination games
LeBron averages 33 points, 11 rebounds, seven assists, two steals and a block in elimination games. This is his production in each individual game.

LeBron’s elimination games
Date
Tm
Opp
MP
FG
FGA
PTS
REB
AST
STL
BLK
Date
Tm
Opp
MP
FG
FGA
PTS
REB
AST
STL
BLK
2006-05-21
CLE
DET
47
11
24
27
8
2
1
0
2007-06-14
CLE
SAS
46
10
30
24
6
10
0
0
2008-05-16
CLE
BOS
47
9
23
32
12
6
2
1
2008-05-18
CLE
BOS
47
14
29
45
5
6
2
0
2009-05-28
CLE
ORL
46
11
24
37
14
12
1
1
2009-05-30
CLE
ORL
45
8
20
25
7
7
0
1
2010-05-13
CLE
BOS
46
8
21
27
19
10
3
1
2011-06-12
MIA
DAL
40
9
15
21
4
6
1
1
2012-06-07
MIA
BOS
45
19
26
45
15
5
0
0
2012-06-09
MIA
BOS
48
9
21
31
12
2
1
1
2013-06-03
MIA
IND
41
8
17
32
8
4
2
1
2013-06-18
MIA
SAS
50
11
26
32
10
11
3
1
2013-06-20
MIA
SAS
45
12
23
37
12
4
2
0
2014-06-15
MIA
SAS
41
10
21
31
10
5
0
2
2015-06-16
CLE
GSW
47
13
33
32
18
9
2
0
2016-06-13
CLE
GSW
43
16
30
41
16
7
3
3
2016-06-16
CLE
GSW
43
16
27
41
8
11
4
3
2016-06-19
CLE
GSW
47
9
24
27
11
11
2
3
2017-06-09
CLE
GSW
41
11
22
31
10
11
1
0
2017-06-12
CLE
GSW
46
19
30
41
13
8
2
1
2018-04-29
CLE
IND
43
16
25
45
9
7
4
0
2018-05-25
CLE
BOS
46
17
33
46
11
9
3
1
Totals
W-L: 13-9

45.0
12.1
24.7
34.1
10.8
7.4
1.77
0.95
Source: Basketball-Reference
If LeBron goes down, he goes down swinging
For his entire career, James averages 21 shots per game in the postseason, which is of course the lion’s share that any superstar of his caliber should be taking. With the season on the line, he’s known to take over, averaging more than 24.
James has taken more than his average number of shots in 17 of 21 elimination games, firing 30 or more in four. Teams should be terrified when James’ back is against the wall, because that’s when he’s his most aggressive self.
That doesn’t mean LeBron steps away from his role as an elite passer. He still averages slightly more than his career benchmark seven assists per game at 7.3. He posted double-digit numbers in seven games.
The ball is always in LeBron’s hands when a year’s work is at stake.
LeBron hardly leaves the court, either
James averages 45 minutes on the court in his 21 elimination games, and has logged that or more in 14 of them.
If he can go all 48, he will. He proved that in a Game 7 Heat win over the Celtics in 2012.
LeBron’s body has show over the years that it has few limits.
So what should the Celtics expect from LeBron going into Game 6?
A human wrecking ball going all out.
James knows this could be his last game in Cleveland with free agency looming, and a loss will snap his seven consecutive trips to the finals streak. After all the ups and downs of the season, including his team trading half of the roster in February and the departure of Kyrie Irving last summer, James isn’t going to let the season die without his full effort.
Especially at home.

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