Vegas sets LeBron James' Game 7 over/under at 38 points, most in NBA history

Yahoo Sports
Las Vegas has some historically high expectations for <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nba/players/3704/" data-ylk="slk:LeBron James">LeBron James</a> in Game 7. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)
Las Vegas has some historically high expectations for LeBron James in Game 7. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)

With his All-Star big man out with a concussion and his team heading to a venue it’s struggled at all year, LeBron James is facing one of the biggest challenges of his career in Game 7 against the Boston Celtics on Sunday night. And now the oddsmakers are giving James another difficult task: On Sunday afternoon, SuperBook set James’ over/under for the Eastern Conference Finals finale at 38 points, the highest line for an individual point total in NBA history, per ESPN’s Doug Kezirian.

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James hasn’t lost a Game 7 since 2008… against the Celtics.

James’ reign over the Eastern Conference is well-documented. His team has reached the NBA Finals seven consecutive years, and he has won three rings in that time. The last time he failed to reach the finals was in 2010, when his Cavaliers fell 4-2 to the Celtics in the second round.

The last time James lost a Game 7 was in 2008, also to the Celtics. Starting alongside Delonte West, Wally Szczerbiak, Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Ben Wallace, James poured in 45 points at TD Garden, but Paul Pierce scored 41 of his own in a truly epic battle, and the Celtics won 97-92.

Is 38 points from James realistic?

James has been simply incredible during these playoffs, averaging 33.9 points per game (most in the playoffs) and has scored at least 40 points on seven different occasions. In Cleveland’s Game 7 against Indiana in the first round, James scored 45 points on 16-for-25 shooting.

But James — like his team as a whole — has struggled against in Boston this postseason. The Celtics are 3-0 at home in the series and 9-0 at home overall this postseason. James is averaging 27.6 points per game on the road this series, compared with 37 at home (though he did explode for 42 points in Game 2 in Boston).

There’s a good chance that Cleveland will need at least 38 from James to have a chance. Kevin Love is out for the game with a concussion, and just one other player, sharpshooter Kyle Korver (10.2 points per game), is averaging double digits.

Game 7 is at 8:30 p.m. ET Sunday night.

The clash between the youthful Celtics and the experienced Cavaliers could have major reverberations around the league. If Boston holds serve at home to win the series, James will head into the offseason as a free agent. The 33-year-old megastar has plenty of options — from Los Angeles to Philadelphia to many places in between — this offseason, and if he were to depart his hometown, power dynamics across the league would shift considerably. Of course if Cleveland emerges victorious, it’s an eighth-straight Finals appearance from James and an opportunity to win his fourth ring.

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