1. Better overall numbers across the board
A simple statistical analysis between Russ and LeBron shows how Russ truly got robbed. The numerical comparison swings so heavily in Russ’s favor that it’s unfair to LeBron to even make the comparison. But it’s impossible to illustrate the egregious bias towards LBJ without it so here we are.
Russ outperformed LeBron in points (33.4 to 26), steals (1.8 to .8), field-goal percentage (54.9 percent to 49.7 percent), true shooting percentage (59.4 percent to 58.8 percent), turnovers (4.2 to 4.3), usage rate (37.9 percent to 31.7 percent), free throw shooting (74.4 percent to 67.2 percent) and 3-point percentage (40 percent to 36 percent).
LeBron bested Russ in assists (10.1 to 6.4) and held a slim margin over The Brodie in rebounds (8.1 to 7.3). But as mentioned above, Russ had a better win percentage than LBJ (87.5 to 81.8). Over the course of Russ’s career, he’s been dinged for his turnovers and his inability to hit the triple, but he topped LeBron in both categories, which is a bit surprising.
Russ also had six games of 30+ points compared to LeBron’s four and two 40-point games compared to LBJ’s one. This is a big deal because the Lakers played more games than the Rockets in February so LeBron had more opportunities than Russ, yet still fell short in these categories.
When it comes to the numbers there’s not much of an argument, as Russ clearly had a better month than LeBron from a statistical standpoint while being asked to do more. Russ was also more efficient, which has also been a knock against his game upto this point.
At the end of the day, Russ should have won the award over LeBron, plain and simple. But fortunately for Houston Rockets fans, Russ will certainly use this as motivation, which could certainly come in handy if the two teams end up facing one another in the playoffs.