Using his patented Player Efficiency Rating analysis, John Hollinger surmises that LeBron James is having the single best season since Michael Jordan‘s 1990-91 campaign when he posted 31.5 points, 6.0 rebounds, 5.5 assists per game. That computes out to a 31.79 value, one tenth of a point higher than the 31.69 that LBJ is earning for 28.6 points, 7.6 rebounds and 7.3 assists per game. Hollinger’s head might actually explode if Dwyane Wade comes away with MVP hardware this year.
The interesting thing about Hollinger’s analysis is not just how James is dominating the competition right now. It’s how he would have fared if the League played at the pace of earlier eras. Had James played as many minutes as MJ did during his ’87-88 season and at that pace, he’d be averaging 32.5 points, 8.7 boards and 8.3 assists per night. Had he played at the pace of Oscar Robertson‘s NBA in ’61-62, he’d be closer to 40-10-10.
Vying for the lead in the MVP race with Wade in recent weeks, LeBron has taken his already historic season to the next level, rattling off 30.1 ppg, 9.6 boards, and 9.6 assists per game over his last nine contests. If he continues at this clip, and maybe does a bit more down the stretch, James could threaten to overtake Jordan’s PER.
Could he be denied the MVP if he finished with a greater PER than MJ?