LeBron James and Kobe Bryant can both reach notable statistical marks in the near-future.How will LeBron James finish?
James is presently averaging 27.3 points, 8.2 rebounds, and 6.9 assists per game. If he finishes the season pushing the assist numbers up a smidge, he could be the first player to average a 27-8-7 line since Michael Jordan in 1988-89.
Only three other players besides Jordan have averaged those numbers for a full season- Oscar Robertson (five times), John Havlicek (twice) and Larry Bird (once).
Most Points Scored - NBA History
At his current scoring rate of 26.8 points per game, he would pass Chamberlain on March 28 against the Milwaukee Bucks.
Bryant’s teammate, Steve Nash, should move into fourth place all-time on the NBA’s assist list pretty soon. His 10,137 assists are four shy of Magic Johnson.
The Lakers playoff push
We detailed the state of Los Angeles basketball last week, but just to offer a quick recap from a Lakers perspective:
The Lakers have made the playoffs 34 times since the NBA-ABA merger in 1976-77, the most of any team.
But with a 25-29 record and a .463 winning percentage, the Lakers are on pace for their third-worst season since the merger, trailing only the 33-49 team from 1993-94 and the 34-48 team from 2004-05.
The Mavericks playoff push
The Mavericks are in danger of having their playoff streak come to an end at 12 straight seasons.
The Mavericks got off to a 13-23 start and only five teams had given up more points per 100 possessions through January 9 than they did.
But since then they’ve won 10 of 16 and rank fourth in offensive efficiency and first in turnover percentage.
The Mavericks remaining opponents winning percentage (.511) ranks seventh-toughest in the NBA. The good news for them is that two of the teams they’re chasing down from the No. 11 spot- the Portland Trail Blazers and Utah Jazz- face the toughest and third-toughest remaining schedules respectively.
The bad news is that two of the other teams- the Houston Rockets and Lakers- face the fifth-easiest and 11th-easiest remaining schedules
The Bulls without Derrick Rose
The Bulls averaged 110.7 points per 100 possessions with Rose on the court last season. This season, that has dropped to 103.5 points per 100 possessions (10th-lowest in the NBA). The Bulls have gone from outscoring teams by better than eight points per game last season to outscoring them by just 1.6 per game this season.
One other oddity: the Bulls have a better road record (15-9) than home record (15-12).
The last .500+ team to finish the season with a better road record than home record was the 2009-10 Boston Celtics -- a team Tom Thibodeau knows something about since he was an assistant coach on their staff, his last year there before leaving for the Bulls. That team reached the NBA Finals before losing in the Finals to the Los Angeles Lakers.