LeBron James has been, well, LeBron James in his first playoff appearance for the Los Angeles Lakers.
Through 12 games, James has averaged 25.6 points per game on 54.7% shooting from the field, in addition to 10 rebounds, 8.7 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.1 blocks per game. James is the only player that has averaged at least 25 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists, a steal and a block per game in the postseason, and he’s done while averaging 34.2 minutes per game, the fewest minutes per game he’s ever averaged in the playoffs.
James’ stat line might not be as gaudy as it’s been in year’s past, but he’s still doing things that nobody else is doing, which begs the question: has he been the best player in the playoffs so far? We posed that question to NBA fans in our latest SB Nation Reacts poll, and this is how they responded.
There’s no denying that Jimmy Butler the Miami Heat have impressed so far in the playoffs. After all, they knocked out Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks in five games in the second round. That’s no small feat.
But to say Butler has been better than James, or even Anthony Davis, is probably a stretch. You can even make the argument that Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets have been more impressive than Butler, especially in the Conference Finals.
The only way the results of this poll make sense is if voters factored in Butler’s coffee business in the bubble. Butler might not have the offensive arsenal that any of the aforementioned players have, but do you know what he does have? At least a few thousand dollars from charging players $20 for coffee. Genius.