LeBron James and Anthony Davis are seeking history as the Los Angeles Lakers prepare for the NBA Finals.
The duo will lead the Lakers into the Finals against one of James’ former teams, the Miami Heat, beginning at Walt Disney World Resort on Wednesday.
The Lakers are in their first Finals since 2010, while James is bidding to win his fourth championship.
Using Stats Perform data, we assess James and Davis throughout the 2020 playoffs, and see how they compare to greats.
<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Among the best” data-reactid=”27″>Among the best
James and Davis, unsurprisingly, already stand among the greats thanks to their dominance in this year’s playoffs.
The pair have starred as the Lakers brushed past the Portland Trail Blazers, Houston Rockets and Denver Nuggets, winning each series 4-1.
James has four triple-doubles in the 2020 playoffs, including his stunning performance in Game 5 of the Western Conference finals against the Nuggets as he put up 38 points, 16 rebounds and 10 assists.
Davis also got his signature moment against the Nuggets, drilling an incredible buzzer-beating three-pointer in Game 2.
While James has averaged 26.7 points and 10.3 rebounds per game, Davis is going at 28.8 and 9.3 respectively.
James and Davis are just the third team-mate duo in history to average 25-plus points per game and seven-plus rebounds per game in the playoffs for a team that reached the NBA Finals.
All three have been Lakers pairs. Elgin Baylor and Jerry West managed it in 1963, although Los Angeles would go on to fall to the Boston Celtics 4-2 in the NBA Finals.
The other duo was Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal in 2001. The Lakers rolled through those playoffs without losing a game until the Finals opener against the Philadelphia 76ers, but they responded to win the series 4-1. O’Neal dominated those Finals with 33 points and 15.8 rebounds per game to be named MVP.
It was a dominant era for the Lakers, and a fifth championship in 11 years came in 2010.
<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Kobe leads another powerful pair” data-reactid=”37″>Kobe leads another powerful pair
The Lakers are in the NBA Finals for the first time since their incredible run came to an end.
Bryant won his fifth championship and second Finals MVP after a thrilling 4-3 series win over the Celtics. Pau Gasol and Bryant led the Lakers’ charge, with the latter the dominant scorer and the former the key rebounder.
Combined, they averaged 48.7 points, 17.1 rebounds and nine assists per game during the 2010 postseason.
They are one of six team-mates to average 48-plus points, 16-plus rebounds and eight-plus assists per game and make the Finals, since the 2001 postseason and having played a minimum of 15 games each.
In the three such cases since 2010, James has been in each. He managed the feat with Kevin Love in 2017 and 2018, but the Cleveland Cavaliers lost the Finals to the Golden State Warriors in both years, having claimed a maiden championship in 2016.
This year, it is James and Davis have managed it, and more history awaits.