Niko Palencia, ESPN Radio
Efficiency is critical when you’re short on time. Trying to produce at an optimal level under time constraints may be a daunting task—in most cases. But for Miami Heat forward LeBron James, producing efficiently has placed numbers under the win column.
Since the start of the 2011-2012 NBA season, James has produced staggering numbers. In return, the Heat are off to their best start in franchise history (25-7) and currently hold the best record in the NBA.
Yes, we all know he is a stat-stuffer. Yes, we all know this should only matter in the post-season. But regardless of what has been said or witnessed in the past, right now, James is making the most of the shortened season and is playing with MVP qualities and numbers.
James is averaging 27.9 points, 8.2 rebounds, 6.8 assists and 1.7 steals. James is shooting nearly 55% from the floor and is playing exceptionally well on defense. In recent play, the Heat’s defense can be credited to their large margin of victories. The Heat are currently working on a six-game winning streak.
With that said, James has already won two MVP awards (2009 and 2010). And due to his image having shifted negatively in the media, it may seem as if his window of a third MVP is unfortunately closing.
But since James is competing efficiently and is playing with tenacity on defense, I wouldn’t be surprised if the NBA rewards him with his first Defensive Player of the Year award. I would see to it as a well-earned consolation prize.
Nonito Palencia Jr. is a senior student at the University of Florida. Nonito covers the Miami Heat for ESPN Radio (Gainesville/Ocala). Nonito also serves as a correspondent for “The Mark McLeod Show”.