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LeBron James is in range to win the 2021-22 NBA scoring title but he’ll need to overcome some hurdles to get to the top of the stat charts.
It’s been an utterly disappointing season for the Los Angeles Lakers, who have been eliminated from the playoffs despite compiling a “big three” of stars including LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook.
It may not be a complete wash for James, though. He still has a chance to add another accolade to his NBA resumé.
The NBA scoring title is still up for grabs.
Will LeBron James win the 2021-22 NBA scoring title?
Going into Wednesday night, James has averaged 30.3 points per game, a smidge behind the 30.4 average maintained by Joel Embiid.
James has to do two important things to overcome Embiid (or hold off Giannis Antetokounmpo who has 29.9 points per game this season).
First, he needs to make his scoring average eligible to be considered for the scoring title. NBA rules stipulate players must have played in 70 percent of their team’s games to be eligible. That’s 58 in an 82-game season. James has played 56 games with three remaining for the Lakers. He needs two more appearances before the end of the season.
There is a way that James could win the scoring title without playing 58 games, but that would require his scoring average from fewer games to still outpace anyone else’s from 58 games. For example, he could miss games against the Warriors and Thunder, then score 75 points in the season finale against the Nuggets on Sunday. He would only have played in 57 games, but his scoring average for the season applied to 58 games would still be 30.5 points per game. If that was greater than Embiid’s or anyone else’s average.
Still, the simplest way for James to win it is to outpace Embiid in his final three games against Toronto, Indiana and Detroit.