We don’t live in a perfect world, and the NBA doesn’t go according to any prewritten plan. Even though most of us know which teams will be the cream that rises to the top by the end of the 2013-14 NBA season, there are still a lot of unknowns — namely surrounding injuries. With that in mind, we’re pretending the NBA Gods have granted us 10 wishes before the start of the season. The NBA isn’t perfect, but we’re going to try and make it better for all the fans.
As Wallace Stevens taught us in Sunday Morning, “Death is the mother of beauty,” so it would be impossible for every item on our NBA wish list to come true at the same time, but that hasn’t stopped us from compiling one in case the NBA Gods (℅ J.R. Smith) are listening.
Keep in mind these are just a small percentage of the things we’re hoping to see happen during the season and some are mutually exclusive or overlap others (while writing this we’ve already come up with 20 more wishes, but we don’t want to get any more greedy). Some of the wishes have a very low chance of happening, and a few will probably happen. In (our) perfect world, all of these things would happen all the time. But the best parts of the NBA couldn’t be savored if all our wishes came true. Feel free to add your own in the comments.
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10. LeBron James averages a triple-double and finishes with shooting splits of 50/40/90
Not since Oscar Robertson has an NBA player averaged at least 10 points, rebounds and assists over the course of an entire NBA season. And for the Big O, it came during a time when faster play allowed more possessions in a game to pad those stats (no disrespect to Oscar though; he is one of the all-time greats). If anyone can challenge Oscar’s excellence in the contemporary game, it’s James, whose do-it-all wizardry for the Heat has meant a regular season MVP the last two seasons and four of the last five. The chances of him averaging over 10 rebounds and assists a game though, are slim. He has to do too much offensively — scoring in the post and on the perimeter — to gobble more boards an dish more dimes. Last season he passed for 7.3 APG and grabbed 8.0 RPG, so he’s not far off. But as he grows older and rings become the only thing that separates him from the list of all-time greats, the energy expended to achieve such all-around brilliance just isn’t worth it if he’s not fresh come playoff time.
But, the 50/40/90 club isn’t as rare. Kevin Durant did it last season despite his heavy usage (close to 30 percent). James already took care of 2-of-the-3 last season, shooting 56.5 percent from the floor and 40.5 from behind the arc. But as James already said on media day, “Ninety percent is not the goal, that is out of control. Let me get to 80 percent first. Let me get to 78 percent.” Last season James averaged near the league’s average from the charity stripe at just over 75 percent.