LeBron James' 61-point scoring performance against the Charlotte Bobcats Monday night was still the talk of social media on Tuesday. People were dissecting whether it was even in the same conversation as the scoring efforts of Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan. People were wondering if it was the best scoring game we've seen out of LeBron James in terms of how he attacked and scored his points.
And NBA Hall of Famer Dominique Wilkins was apparently wondering just how many points he could have scored against a Bobcats' defense that couldn't seem to find the best player in the world when he was cooking. Wilkins tweeted out Tuesday evening that he could have dropped 40 at the age of 54 with the way the Bobcats played defense.
Watch the film. No close outs on D, doubles were late, rotations were slow. It was too easy to score. At 54 y/o I could drop 40 on that D— Dominique Wilkins (@DWilkins21) March 4, 2014
Bron is a freakish athlete, yes, no doubt. I could say I was too in my prime, but averaging 30 then against the greats like Bird, MJ, King— Dominique Wilkins (@DWilkins21) March 4, 2014
Let me be clear again, amazing shooting display, he was on fire and VERY efficient. My point is the Cats didn't work him on the other end.— Dominique Wilkins (@DWilkins21) March 4, 2014
My take is not knocking Bron at all. It's really more so about the game & how it has changed.— Dominique Wilkins (@DWilkins21) March 4, 2014
At first glance, it looked like Wilkins was diminishing the scoring performance of LeBron and bashing a Bobcats defense that is actually ranked seventh in the NBA this season. But Wilkins made sure to explain himself on Twitter and not really leave it up for interpretation to misconstrue what he was saying. He claimed he was more commenting on the changes in the game now from when he was playing.
He does have some good points about how the Bobcats played James. There were plenty of sloppy closeouts and missed rotations, which has not been something we're used to seeing with Charlotte's defensive effort and execution this season. They've been incredibly scrappy and their defense is the reason they're on pace to make the playoffs in the East. However, they had a poor showing.
However, James made his first eight 3-point attemtps and finished 8-of-10 from downtown. Wilkins in his day was a 29 percent 3-point shooter for his career. I'm not so sure he would have knocked down the shots LeBron did. Also, Wilkins mentioned in his day he was giving buckets to some of the all-time greats while having to defend them on the other ends as well. Nobody is confusing Wilkins for Scottie Pippen on the defensive end any time soon.
But Wilkins could certainly fill it up with the best of them. He owns the 14th highest scoring average in NBA history, won a scoring title once in his career, and twice scored a career-high of 57 points in a game.