… and it’s not even close! ESPN finest – John Hollinger – predicts an MVP year for LeBron James. We all know that this types of guessing is worthless before the season, because no matter what LeBron does, it requires a 50 win campaign to be taken seriously by the voters. He was the best player in the league last year. Unfortunately, despite leading the league in 4th quarter comebacks and scoring, the Cavs just couldn’t stay healthy enough or maintain the continuity needed to string together a third straight season with fifty or more wins. This year it’s different… Cavs are the hottest team in the NBA and now there are no excuses not to crown The King. Here are the links: Part One: PER – only one player in NBA History has had a better season… Micheal Jordan. Part Two: Value Added – new rating system extremly useful for award voting.
James’ 31.69 PER through Sunday’s games isn’t only the best in the league, holding off a stern late charge by Miami’s Dwyane Wade — it’s second only to Jordan in the past 35 years, and if James has a strong closing finish, it could end up as the best. Even if he fails to match Jordan’s all-time mark, he’s already on hallowed ground. While Jordan’s PER exceeded 31.0 on four different occasions, no other player in history had done it until James this season.
James doesn’t lead the league in a single individual category, and his scoring and rebounding numbers are both down from a year ago. Yet when one looks at his accomplishments in total, and adjusts for both his minutes and his team’s pace, he’s having one of the greatest seasons in league history.
The conventional wisdom is that James is having a great season, but the reality is much deeper — he’s having what is arguably the greatest individual season in history, and it’s time we gave him his due for it.