So what exactly does that title mean? Well we run a lot of numbers and are often looked at and compared to Five Thirty Eight another great resource for comparing sports betting data and analysis. We built out a proprietary system to run numbers and come back with the likelihood of a team winning a game. For the 2015 NBA Playoffs we correctly predicted that the Golden State Warriors would beat out the Cleveland Cavaliers in 6 games or less.
What was more interesting is when we ran other statistics. In basketball a triple double is known when you score in the double digits in Points, Assists, and Rebounds. Well for the 2015 Finals King James ranked as the best playoff player in the last 30 years.
Thanks to Daniel Myers at Basketball Reference the information and statistics on the last 30 years best players in the NBA Finals is available for your viewing below:
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Getting more technical and looking at statistics beyond the triple double data set we have a Points Above Replacement estimator. This is an offshoot of a dataset created by Basketball-Reference.com. Lebron James comes out as 6th best since 1985 or the last 30 years. If you read about Neil Greenberg over at the Washington Post and his analysis as well as Kevin Pelton over at ESPN Insider then you would agree as well. All of the MVP’s with James like numbers ended up winning their respective NBA titles where he did not this year.
In 1969 Jerry West of the L.A. Lakers won the MVP but the Boston Celtics’ won the NBA championship. This doesnt happen any more as fan outrage from Twitter to television would go wild to the point of Baltimore Riots these days. 9 total players over the last 30 years have won the best player through the PAR. Even if you outplay your competitors but you dont win the championship then you can count on not getting the Most Valuable Player honor. James had 41.1 percent usage rate going into game 6. This is the largest number of any finalist and above your airness Michael Jordans record mark of 39.6% when the Chicago Bulls played the Phoneix Suns in 1993 (yes Charles Barkley was there). On top of that James played over 45 minutes per game again the highest number to help boost up his points, assists, and rebounds. Straight up Lebron played and was involved in almost 65% of all points in the second to last game of the series. He works hard and deserves to win but deserving was not enough as Stephen Curry and the Warriors were just too hyped up.