Defying the ‘odds’, can LeBron make history?

There have been 149 times in the history of the National Basketball Association (NBA) Playoffs (PO) that a team has lost the first three games of a best-of-seven series. However, none of them have been able to pull off the upset. Can LeBron James (39) of the Los Angeles (LA) Lakers save his team from elimination?

Game 4 of the 2022-23 NBA PO Western Conference Finals (best-of-seven) will take place at 9:30 a.m. ET on Feb. 23 at the Arena in Los Angeles when the Los Angeles Lakers take on the Denver Nuggets. Denver leads the series 3-0. LA needs one more loss to be eliminated from the PO.

The momentum has already shifted in Denver’s favor. Denver dominated LA in Games 1-3, with the duo of Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray combining to average 62 points per game. The Nuggets are trying to reach their first Finals in franchise history. Denver’s best finish is the Western Conference Finals. The Nuggets had lost to LA in each of the previous three Western Conference Finals. They are on the verge of dethroning LA for the fourth time.

LA is led by James averaging 23.7 points and Anthony Davis 28.7 points. However, the lack of support from his teammates puts the spotlight on the “ace” James. But at 39 years old, James may be reaching his physical limits. He’s already shown lapses in defense in the final minutes of Games 1 and 2 at home in Denver.

As his stamina wanes, his shots are getting shorter and shorter, especially from three-point range. For the entire series, James shot 24.2% from three-point range in this PO. That’s a huge drop from his career PO average of 33%. If you limit it to the Western Conference Finals against Denver, he’s shooting just 15.8%. Despite taking more than five per game, his success rate has bottomed out. In effect, his offensive options are gone.안전놀이터

Of course, James remained confident. After Game 3, when a local media outlet asked him, “You’ve made so much history, do you think you can do it again?” he replied, “Absolutely. It’s just a matter of heart,” he replied confidently. In his 20th season, James, a four-time NBA Finals champion and four-time Finals Most Valuable Player (MVP), will be looking to make history.

Meanwhile, in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Nov. 22, the lower-seeded Miami Heat defeated the Boston Celtics in a big way, 128-102. Miami took a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven series and secured a spot in the NBA Finals.

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