LeBron, D-Wade put up staggering stat lines

March, 3, 2009
LeBron James, Cavaliers: 42 points (10-10 FT), 8 rebounds, 6 3-pointers at Miami.
Dwyane Wade, Heat: 41 points, 7 rebounds, 9 assists, 7 steals versus Cleveland.
Russell Westbrook, Thunder: 17 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists against the Mavericks.
Michael Beasley, Heat: 8 points, 4 rebounds, 3 turnovers against the Cavaliers.
Samuel Dalembert, 76ers: 2 points, 4 rebounds, 1 block versus New Orleans.
Peja Stojakovic, Hornets: 6 points, 3 rebounds against the 76ers.

Last night's marquee matchup of Cavaliers-Heat promised a great individual matchup. After all, in 18 head-to-head appearances, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade have averaged 29 and 27 points, respectively. But what fantasy owners got out of LeBron-Wade was one of the great one-on-one fantasy events in recent history. And yes, it's past the trade deadline in many leagues, and there's nothing opposing owners can do but stop and stare, but the sheer statistical magnitude of the evening demands closer inspection.

First off, both players cleared the 40-point barrier while hitting better than 50 percent from the floor (James: 42 points on 13-of-21 shooting; Wade: 41 points, 16-for-30). How many other instances this season have there been two players who scored at least 40 in the same game? One, on Jan. 23, when Eric Gordon and Kevin Durant went for 87 combined points. Before that -- in non-overtime games -- you have to go back to 2007 with Deron Williams and Josh Howard.

This was the second time James and Wade both cracked 40 in the same game, but what edges last night toward history are the numbers beyond the point totals.

LeBron also drained six of his seven 3-pointers, went 10-for-10 from the line, grabbed eight rebounds, collected four assists and added a steal and a block for good measure. D-Wade was even better, adding nine assists, seven rebounds, two 3-pointers and a mind-blowing seven steals. According to ESPN's research team, the last player to hit those totals (throwing in the 42 points) in the same game: Michael Jordan. And Wade did all this in the wake of Friday's personal destruction of the Knicks (46 points, 8 rebounds, 10 assists).

All of this occurred on the anniversary of Wilt Chamberlain's 100-point game, which is still the greatest single box score in NBA history (36-for-63 from the field, 28-for-32 from the line, 25 rebounds). Now that would have been a nice way for an owner to have started his or her week.

Under the boards

It was impossible to ignore the gaudiness of the LeBron-Wade matchup, but Nenad Krstic's line (26 points, six rebounds) almost took up the same amount of fantasy importance. Why? Because Krstic is available in approximately 99 percent more leagues than Wade or James, and is center-eligible. He's clearly gained the upper hand on Nick Collison, but it remains to be seen if he can keep this up once Jeff Green returns. … Speaking of underowned players, Rasual Butler (16 points, 10 rebounds, 3-of-5 3-pointers) outplayed Peja Stojakovic yet again. … Marvin Williams attempted a team-high 15 shots versus the Wizards. A night in which Williams outshoots Joe Johnson and Mike Bibby is about as rare as a Luis Scola block, but it's an encouraging sign for owners as the Hawks enter the stretch drive. … Dominic McGuire (6 points, 6 rebounds, 9 assists, 2 steals, 1 block) compiled about three-quarters of a triple-double, as he continues to post diverse yet unsizzling stat lines. I realize most people would be happier with a 20-point, three-rebound type of game, but McGuire is the kind of player who gives you a solid foundation week in, week out without needing a ton of field goal attempts. Sort of an anti-Marvin Williams. … Another player producing a la McGuire: Delonte West, who attempted only six shots but still had a decent night (8 points, 6 assists, 2 3-pointers, 5 steals, 1 block). … Roger Mason had an Antoine Walker-esque shooting night (1-for-9), but still contributed nine rebounds and five assists. … Andray Blatche (12 points, 4 rebounds) has seen his minutes climb back into the 30-minute range, but I wonder if he's going to round out what's been a pretty nice season in a time-share with JaVale McGee (14 points, 9 rebounds, 3 blocks). … Jamario Moon (11 points, 8 rebounds) didn't record a steal or a block, but came close to a double-double, and more importantly, played 37 minutes. … Josh Howard reinjured his balky ankle and left early with only seven points.

John Cregan is a fantasy basketball analyst for ESPN.com.



You must be signed in to post a comment

Already have an account?