The #1 pick from the 2003 draft, King James is showing no signs of slowing down.
Practically every other player from that rookie class has either retired, or is a shell of their former self. Dwyane Wade appears to be on his farewell tour, and Carmelo Anthony at this point of his career seems to be about as welcome as a fart in an elevator – most teams don’t want anything to do with him.
He’s heating up!
At the time of writing this, Lebron’s last 3 games have been incredible: 39ppg, 7.3rpg, 6.3apg, 1.0spg, 1.7bpg on 58% fg and hitting an amazing 14/20 threes. He’s shot 23/29 fts, and somehow with all that activity he’s averaging just 1 foul per game over those 3 games.
Through the first 16 games of the 2018/19 NBA season, Lebron James is piling up stats at a furious pace. At 28.8ppg, he is averaging more points per game now than in any of the last 8 seasons – scoring more than he did in the 4 seasons where he took his talents to South Beach, and more than any of his 4 seasons when he made his return to Cleveland.
History in the making
Lebron has now passed the legendary Wilt “The Stilt” Chamberlain on the all-time scoring list, who famously averaged 50.4ppg for an entire season and once scored 100 points in a single game. Within the next 30 games, he will likely pass Michael Jordan.
What it means for the Lakers?
The Lakers started off terribly going 0-3, but have bounced back recently, winning 7 of their last 9 games, and it is clear that the Lakers need Lebron at his best in order for the team to win.
- In the Lakers 7 losses this season, Lebron has averaged 26.6 points, 7.4 rebounds, 7.1 assists.
- In the Lakers 9 wins this season, Lebron has averaged 30.4 points, 7.9 rebounds, 6.8 assists.
In the Lakers win, Lebron has taken 4.8 more fg attempts, including 1.8 more threes, and is taking 2 more ft attempts per game. So the Lakers need Lebron to be more aggressive and look for his own shot in order to get the W.
- When Lebron takes 10 or more ft attempts, the Lakers are 4-1
- When Lebron makes 3 or more threes, the Lakers are 5-2
So what do we do with all of this information, and how can it be made useful for punters?
Firstly, there’s the player performance bets. Backing Lebron overs on 3 point makes appears to be a good bet this year. He’s dialled in from the perimeter and has made 3 or more threes in each of his last 6 games, and averaging 3.1 makes over his last 10 games. It appears to be a conscious decision to move with the times and play the perimeter game that the league has now evolved into. His 6.63 three point attempts per game are trending up too, with 7.33 attempts over his last 6 games. The most he had ever attempted for a season is 5.1 a game.
What else is all this information useful for? MVP betting!
If you don’t mind betting on something and looking at the long term return, Lebron is great value for MVP right now. Unlike the previous 2 seasons where there were historically great seasons by other players: Westbrook averaging a triple double and some late season heroics, and Harden putting up videogame numbers for a full season – this time round there isn’t really anyone with a compelling reason to pick them over Lebron.
Sure Giannis is having a great year, and the Unibrow Anthony Davis is always looming with monster stats. But It really feels like if the Lakers can keep winning like this, and Lebron continues to rack up individual career milestones, he will have enough in his resume for the voters to give him the nod for another MVP.
Where to bet?