Fatherhood

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It has been well documented that Jimmy Butler absolutely had LeBron James number in head to head match ups for years, mostly while Jimmy was with the Bulls, but continuing into his Timberwolves days.  As recently as January of 2018 Jimmy Buckets' teams had won the last 7 games versus LeBron James' teams.  In that 7th straight win, Butler put up 21 points, 8 rebounds and 9 assists, while James had his statistically worst game of his career with 10 points, 8 boards and 5 assists.  But the real story was Butler's plus/minus of +39 as opposed to LeBron's career worst -39.  Before the game Jimmy had this to say: "If you're one of the best in the world, and you can score 50 or do this or that, I'm a fan.  But I've gotta see it firsthand.  You've got to do it to me."  Classic.  At the time, that was just the latest example of Butler's rule over The King over the last few years that led one Froggy Fresh to record this magnum opus:

And just to be fair, here's the response from Shuetube:

LeBron ended that whole discussion with a show of pure dominance against Minnesota in February.  The King put up 37 points, 10 rebounds and 15 assists in an overtime win that climaxed with this:

Who's your Daddy now Jimmy Buckets?  So that narrative is done.  I told you all that just to get to this: The Toronto Raptors versus LeBron James.

First of all, the wheels have come off the Raps over the last few weeks.  After the winning streak was snapped against OKC, things have gone steadily downhill.  They can't stop anybody.  They can't figure out who their best 5 are.  They're better offensively with Jonas Valanciunas on the court but he can't rim protect or switch on defense.  The only option is Jakob Poeltl who also can't guard anybody and lately is more likely to fumble the ball out of bounds than throw down one of those dunks that came out of nowhere and just as quickly disappeared.  So good in the regular season, but cannot beat LeBron in the playoffs.  The King has made a point of reminding the Raps of that in the last 2 meetings including last night.  Yes, it is the regular season still, but after blowing a huge lead in their previous meeting, the Raptors needed to prove to themselves that they can beat LeBron.  It wasn't even close.  I'm not giving you any numbers here.  I'm talking about the eye test.  I have heard people describing the dynamic as little brother against big brother, but I saw something else.  In a nutshell:

With all due respect Toronto Raptors, LeBron James is your father.  Y'all are dinosaurs and he's the comet.

And before I'm done here I have a nit to pick.  So LeBron James broke Michael Jordan's consecutive double-digit scoring record.  Well done, but isn't 10 a rather arbitrary number when it comes to points considering the leading scorer each year usually averages around 30?  So we're keeping track of streaks where a player manages about a third of what a leading scorer would put up?  Compare it to assists or rebounds.  If the assists leader averaged around 10 per game, would we keep track of how many consecutive 3 assist games a player had?.  Nevertheless, the stat was tracked and MJ had the record, recently broken by LBJ.  I have seen people trying to use this stat as evidence that The King has surpassed His Airness in greatness.  I would only like to mention the fact that Jordan had retired twice and had been out of the league for 3 years when he came back to the NBA in 2001 and finally lost his streak.  If he han't been out of the league all that time, his consecutive games total would undoubtedly have been much higher.  I know, I'm nitpicking.  One more point and I'll let it go.  This streak was strictly regular season games or we wouldn't even be having this conversation as James scored 7 points in a playoff game in 2014.  Michael Jordan's career single-digit playoff games? None.

Contrary to Froggy Fresh's opinion, Jimmy Butler is not LeBron james' father.  But MJ is.

 

Tim Caldwell