By now, every basketball fan in the world is aware of LeBron James’s 61-point outburst against the Charlotte Bobcats last night. Add that to Carmelo Anthony’s 62 points against Charlotte—just six weeks ago—and it’s probably a good thing Charlotte is changing its team name back to the Hornets for next season.
LeBron joined Carmelo in sharing another feat: Both their big games were in the top five of shooting efficiency for all 60-point games since 1963.
LeBron’s game looks even better when you account for “adjusted” field-goal percentage, giving a higher weight to his 8-of-10 shooting from 3-point-range.
The question to ask is: “How likely is it that LeBron continues like this?” Is he officially on a hot streak, or will his output return to prior averages?
According to data compiled by Bloomberg Sports, the most recent 20 players to score 50 points in a game had entered those games averaging 25.3 points per game. In the game immediately following the 50-point outburst, those same players averaged 25.6 PPG. That’s more than a 1 percent improvement in scoring. If you take that out farther, their scoring was 27.3 PPG in the following three games (an 8 percent increase), and 26.0 PPG in the following five games (a 3 percent increase).
If you’re looking for LeBron to keep rolling, try to see him play in the next week.