NBA Futures LA Lakers NBA Championship 2023

NBA FUTURES | LeBron to make history later than anticipated?

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Our basketball expert picks out two selections involving the game where LeBron James could score his 40,000th career regular season point

LeBron James is leaping toward history – as he will become the first player in NBA history to surpass the 40,000-point mark in regular season play.

The future NBA Hall of Famer is only 132 points away from hitting the total – with bookmakers offering a market in which game James will surpass the points mark.

Our basketball expert has looked through the market – picking out the two games he thinks LeBron will hit the historic points total.

INJURY FOCUS

Using the averages on offer, I feel the game Lebron will hit the 40,000-point total is against the Sacramento Kings on the 6th March – if a few factors go a certain way.

Firstly, this evening’s game against the Spurs could prove to be a crucial part of the puzzle. LeBron missed Thursday’s loss to the Warriors after sitting out with an ankle problem.

While San Antonio are trying to fix their long list of issues on the court, the Lakers should be able to record success over the Texas franchise – with or without James. If LeBron decides to sit out another game, that could really play into the market here. He may even miss the game against the Suns over the weekend.

CRUNCHING THE NUMBERS

Then the next seven games are tough on the whole – especially for a small forward. Five of the seven franchises the Lakers face in that run are in the top 12 defenses in terms of points allowed to small forward.

The Suns and the Nuggets sit in the top six defenses – only allowing 20.8pts and 21pts per game to the position. Those matchups could prove to be problematic for James after returning from injury.

The Clippers game will likely see James pick up around 22 to 25 points, as they are allowing around 21.5 points to the position this campaign.

On the other hand, the Washington Wizards are one of the worst defenses in that catergory, allowing 24.9pts to the position per game this season. This is likely the game where his averages could go out of the window, and claw in a big return in the points department.

With tough games against the Nuggets and the Thunder shortly after, we would be in the home stretch of James hitting the total. Looking at his injury risk and averages, the game against the Kings on the 6th March will very likely be the game he breaks the total.

THE HOME STRAIGHT + 1

However, it never all goes to plan and if LeBron’s ankle injury puts him out for longer than expected, then it could even stretch as far as the Bucks game – where he may only need a handful of points to break the record.

His price to surpass the 40,000-point mark in either the Kings or the Bucks game holds some value, and that’s where I’m placing my chip.

TIP: LeBron James to score his 40,000th career regular season point versus SAC Kings on 6th March (+290, DraftKings Sportsbook)
TIP: LeBron James to score his 40,000th career regular season point versus MIL Bucks on 8th March (+650, DraftKings Sportsbook)

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