Miami Heat Stat Monkey Brief: Heat/Kings (1/12/13)

Time to panic about King James? Not even close, says Michael Ruemmele.

Time to Panic?

Skip Bayless said it is, so it must be true. LeBron James had his worst shooting night of the season against Portland with an effective field goal percentage of 40.6 percent. King James’s 20 point scoring streak is over. The Heat have lost five of their last eight games and two of those wins required overtime to beat mediocre teams. All is lost.

Except, of course, for the fact that the Heat have the best record in the East, are the highest ranked team in the East by our nERD rankings, and fellow MVP candidates Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony have each had multiple nights with a worse effective field goal percentage than LeBron’s during this game. Take a deep breath. Everything will be fine.

Recipe for Good Press

Tonight, Miami takes on one of the worst teams in the league in the Seattle Sacramento Kings. No. 27 in our nERD rankings, the Kings are in the lower half of the league in both offensive and defensive efficiency. As if them being terrible wasn’t enough, they also are the best team to make Miami look like it’s fixed its biggest problem. No team grabs a lower percentage of defensive rebounds than the Kings, who get only 68.9 percent of those available. With what should be an easy win for the Heat in which they look good on the boards, Skip will probably be back on the bandwagon tomorrow.

DeMarcus Cousins

For all the trade rumors and buzz about DeMarcus Cousins, he hasn’t done much on the court this year to suggest he can capitalize on all his talent. He currently garners a -1.1 nERD score, which means it is estimated that a team featuring four league average players and Cousins would finish 1.1 game below .500. His effective field goal percentage for the year is 43.5 percent, putting him behind efficient offensive juggernauts like Kendrick Perkins (45.1 percent) and Bismack Biyombo (44.7 percent). Also, Kings opponents score 2.2 fewer points per 100 possessions when he’s on the court than when he’s off it.

While he’s not surrounded by a lot of great defenders, you would like to see some better results than this with the huge trade offers that are allegedly out there for this guy.