michael-garcia - June 12, 2012
The NBA Finals start tomorrow night in Oklahoma City and there should be great matchups all over the court. The main attraction will be three time MVP winner LeBron James vs. defending three time scoring champ Kevin Durant.
This could very well turn out like a heavyweight fight between these two, so let's break it down by the numbers first.
James - 6'8" 250 lbs. - 27.1 points per game, 7.9 rebounds per game, 6.2 assists per game in the regular season.
Durant - 6'9" 235 lbs. - 28.0 points per game, 8.0 rebounds per game, 3.5 assists per game in the regular seaon.
Statistically, they are pretty even. LeBron gets more assists than Durant by nearly three a game. If you look at the playoff numbers, LeBron has stepped up his points per game and rebounds per game, while Durant has negligible drops in points and rebounds.
Durant - 27.8 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 4.2 apg
James - 30.8 ppg, 9.6 rpg, 5.1 apg
This really could go a couple of ways. James and Durant could virtually cancel each other out by going for 25-30 a night each. The other way this could turn out is LeBron stepping up his defense and try to get physical with Durant and see how he responds. If James does try to get physical with Durant, then he could end up in foul trouble or take some energy away from his own offensive game. And of course, many people would say LeBron will just falter and wilt since it's the Finals. We'll see.
LeBron is just as quick as Durant, but Durant has more length which he could use to his advantage, though defense isn't exactly Durant's strong point. Either way, this is a dream matchup for fans who want to see two of the best in the world going head to head on basketball's biggest stage.