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Pulse of the NBA
By Andy Roth, Contributing Editor
New York, NY (Sports Network) - LeBron James' incredible shooting run continued last night and it put him in the NBA record books.
James scored 30 points on 11-of-15 from the floor, becoming the first player in NBA history to have six straight games scoring at least 30 points and shooting 60 percent from the field.
He hit 66 of his 92 shots during this stretch, which translates to an incredible 72 percent from the field, and is averaging 30.8 points, 6.7 assists and 6.7 rebounds.
James is making a very strong case for a fourth MVP award and his recent play is certainly bolstering that cause.
But as great a run as James is having, I still think it pales in comparison to what we've seen from the likes of Michael Jordan and Wilt Chamberlain.
In an experimental move in 1989 by then Chicago Bulls coach Phil Jackson, Jordan was moved from shooting guard to the point. He responded by putting up 10 triple-doubles in 11 games.
During that stretch, he averaged 33.6 points, 10.8 rebounds and 11.4 assists. The one game in which he did fail to put a triple-double, Jordan had 40 points, 11 assists and 7 rebounds. Call it a off night I guess.
Jordan managed to put up over 33 points per game despite shooting just 17 three-point shots and hitting two over those 11 games. He didn't shoot the ball nearly as well as James has during his hot stretch, but he did shoot a very healthy 51 percent from the field.
Jordan, by the way, finished with 15 triple-doubles that season. As great as James has been this season, he's recorded one so far.
Now on to Wilt Chamberlain, who had a career of putting up numbers that seem surreal.
In the 1961-62 season, when he averaged a record 50.4 points per game, the 7- time NBA scoring champ had a stretch where he scored at least 50 points in 11 of 12 games, which included seven straight 50-point efforts. He averaged an out-of-this world and mind-boggling 60.7 points during that stretch, which included a 78-point, 43-rebound game to start the run.
The game's most dominant offensive player had another incredible stretch in his career, but it wasn't just about the scoring.
In the 1967-68 season, Chamberlain had 9 straight triple-doubles, which still stands as an NBA record. During that span he averaged 26.6 points, 23.6 rebounds and 12.7 assists. The streak was highlighted by a 53-point, 32- rebound, 14-assist effort.
Also of note, at that time, blocked shots weren't an official stat, but there are estimated totals that report Chamberlain had double digit blocked shots in all of those games except one, which means he might have had 8 quadruple- doubles.
And, by the way, the 9-straight triple-doubles came over just a 12-day span. Gregg Popovich wouldn't have had to worry about resting Chamberlain if he had coached him, because that word wasn't part of Wilt's vocabulary.
Well, while James is playing out of this world, the Brooklyn Nets' star player's season continues its bumpy road.
"He hasn't had the same explosiveness he had last year, so obviously there's something that's been affecting him," King said.
Williams has not been the same player he was in Utah since joining the Nets but King believes he'll get back to playing at that level.
"Am I confident he'll get back to being Deron Williams? Yes, 100 percent," King said.
At least for this season, that may very well be wishful thinking on the part of the Nets' GM. Prior to the start of the season, Williams revealed he had bone spurs in his left ankle that would probably require offseason surgery.
You had to know at that point that Williams would probably not be operating at 100 percent this season, and that seems the likely reason his play has been so poor.
He's clearly having his worst season as a full time starter, averaging career lows in points (16.7), assists (7.6) and field goal percentage (41.3 percent).
It's a far cry from the numbers he put up in Utah as a full time starter, where the three-time All-Star averaged 18.7 points, 10.2 assists and shot 47.3 percent from the field.
If the Nets hope to be more than just a run-of-the mill team that perennially makes the playoffs every year and then makes an early exit, they'll need Williams to play like the elite point guard he was with the Jazz.
02/13 13:24:52 ET
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