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8 records LeBron James could achieve this season (2020-21)

LeBron James (#23) of the LA Lakers
LeBron James (#23) of the LA Lakers
ANALYST
Modified 07 Mar 2021
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The LA LakersLeBron James is slowly working his way through a laundry list of names heading into the second half of the 2020-21 NBA season. The names he would be bulldozing his way through are Hall of Famers, All-Stars and notable players in the league's history who have accumulated stellar numbers.

For some categories like consecutive games with double-digit scoring, he is adding to a record that's already in his name.

Once the NBA All-Star break is over, the LA Lakers will resume their quest to win back-to-back titles, and LeBron James will eye a few records before the end of the season. On that note, let's have a look at a few of them.

Eight records LeBron James could achieve this season

#1 Games Played

LeBron James is currently No. 22 in the all-time record for games played in the regular season with 1,301.

If he plays all 35 of the LA Lakers’ remaining matches this season, he’ll jump past six all-time greats - Elvin Hayes (1,303), Andre Miller (1,304), Buck Williams (1,307), Jamal Crawford (1,327), Moses Malone (1,329) and Gary Payton (1,335) - and move to 16th place on the all-time list.

If he sits out two or more games to rest in preparation for the playoffs, James will have to wait till next season to pass Payton.


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#2 Minutes Played

In minutes played, LeBron James is no. 7 in the league's history with 49,796. If he plays his average of 34.6 minutes per game this season in the LA Lakers’ next 19 games, LeBron James will pass Elvin Hayes (50,000), Jason Kidd (50,111) and Kevin Garnett (50,418) for fourth place on the all-time list.

Playing that many minutes in the team’s final 35 games will give the four-time MVP 51,007 minutes under his belt.

LeBron James (#23)
LeBron James (#23)

That’s a lot of mileage for LeBron James and the fact that he’s still in the MVP conversation in his 18th year is a testament to the work he puts in outside the basketball court to stay healthy.


#3: 3-pt Field Goals

LeBron James has amassed 1,961 3-pointers so far, which places him 13th in the league's all-time list.

Should he continue to make an average of 2.4 threes per game for the next 28 games, he would move ahead of Joe Johnson (1,978), Dirk Nowitzki (1,982) and Jason Kidd (1,988) to break into the league's top ten for most 3-point field goals made.

If he plays all 35 games of the regular season and does so with that average, LeBron James would have 2,045 career three-pointers.

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But James taking over 10th place might be short-lived, as Damian Lillard (1,922) is nipping at his heels.

Lillard is averaging 4.3 threes per game this season, almost double that of the 17-time All-Star’s average. If he keeps that pace through the rest of the season, Lillard will finish with roughly 2,086 per game, more than 40 more than LeBron James' tally.

That means LeBron James would end up 11th all-time when the season ends and would only take up tenth spot if he passes Paul Pierce (2,143) and Lillard overtakes the former Boston Celtics star as well.


#4 Free-Throws Made

LeBron James is averaging four free throws this season. He’s at No. 5 all-time with 7,548 free-throws made, which means he is within striking distance of Oscar Robertson (7,694).

Robertson is ahead by 146 shots at the moment, which means James will have to knock down at a slightly higher average per game (4.2) if he wants to catch the Big O this season.

If he shoots better (LeBron James is at 69.2% this year) or he makes more free throws by going to the line more often, he could ascend to no. 3 position in the all-time list by the end of the season.

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#5 Total Rebounds

Andre Drummond (#0) and LeBron James (#23) battle for a first-half rebound
Andre Drummond (#0) and LeBron James (#23) battle for a first-half rebound

LeBron James is one of the best rebounding small forwards in the history of the game, which is evident in his average of 7.5 per game.

Though he is far from being among the best ever rebounders regardless of position, James has a unique opportunity to move into the top 40 and join the ranks of players who have grabbed at least 10,000 rebounds in their careers.

Right now, LeBron James has 9,694 rebounds for his career, which ranks him 43rd all-time. James (eight boards a night this season) should pass Detroit Pistons great Bob Lanier (9,698) after his first game back from the All-Star break.

Once he passes Lanier, it would get trickier because in 41st place is the Brooklyn Nets’ DeAndre Jordan, who is averaging 7.5 rebounds per game this season and has 9,713 caroms for his career.

In his last 10 games, Jordan is board-cleaning at the rate of 9.3 per contest. If he continues at that rate, LeBron James won’t be able to catch him until next season.

Nevertheless, the most thrilling part of LeBron James’ rebounding pursuit is the opportunity to join the 10,000 rebound club by the end of the season. James is 306 rebounds shy of accomplishing the feat but has some heavy lifting to do.

To be more precise, LeBron James will need to up his rebounding average to 8.8 or more in the remaining LA Lakers games to move into the 10K club. But with James preparing for the playoffs, there’s a chance that he may pass this up and wait till next season to reach the milestone.

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#6 Assists

Last year, LeBron James earned his first assists crown with a 10.2 average. He’s not piling up that many assists per game this year, but he’s still dishing out to teammates at the rate of 7.8 per game.

With 9,626 assists to his name, LeBron James is eighth on the all-time list and breathing down the neck of Oscar Robertson (9,887) once again.

LeBron James needs 262 assists to take over Robertson at no. 7. Since he’s at 7.8 assists per contest this season, the 6' 9" forward from St. Vincent-St. Mary High School merely needs to play 34 games to reach that goal. When the season ends, he could have as many as 9,899 total career assists.


#7 Steals

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Averaging 1.1 steals per game this season, LeBron James (2,056 all time) is set to run past Mookie Blaylock (2,075) and Karl Malone (2,085) in the career steals category after 28 games.

After surpassing them, the LA Lakers forward would roughly finish with 2,095 for his career and occupy the No. 11 position on the all-time list by the end of the season.

LeBron James will have to wait until next season, however, to overtake former San Antonio Spurs and Milwaukee Bucks star Alvin Robertson who is in 10th place with a total of 2,112 steals.


#8 Blocks

The blocks category is one where LeBron James is not among the best ever, but he has a chance to break into the top 100.

Averaging 0.6 blocks a game during this campaign, James (103rd in the all-time list with 979 blocks to his name) has an opportunity to register exactly 1,000 swats all-time and break into the top 100 at no. 99.

If he does that, LeBron James will leapfrog Bobby Jones (982), John Salley (983), Mike Gminski (989) and Chris Andersen (991). The Washington Wizards’ Robin Lopez (no. 98 with 993 blocks) is still very much active and could likely continue to move up the ladder, too.

Please note: *All-time stats mentioned here only include NBA career records and not a combination of ABA/NBA statistics.

Also, Read: Looking at the LA Lakers' struggles this season and ways to solve them.

Published 07 Mar 2021, 19:15 IST
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