The Cleveland Cavaliers advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals earlier this week after sweeping the Atlanta Hawks. Before that, they swept the Pistons in the 1st round. The two sweeps should come as no surprise to any one who has followed LeBron’s career. He has been historically dominant in the first two rounds of the playoffs throughout his career.
LeBron first made the playoffs in the 2005-06 season. His Cavs beat the Wizards in six games in the 1st round before losing to the top seeded Pistons in seven in round two. And since then his teams have been only getting better in the postseason. He has still yet to lose a 1st round series. That’s 11 straight years reaching the second round. Compare that to someone like Chris Paul who is only 4-4 in 1st round series.
The guy has wept his first round opponent four straight years now. In total, LeBron’s teams are 44-7 in the first round. That winning % is equivalent to winning 71 games over the course of a full season. That’s just crazy. He definitely takes care of business in round 1.
LeBron has been much less successful in the 2nd round though. He’s only won 8 of his 11 second round matchups. He’s only 40-21 in the second round. That’s only equivalent to 54 wins. That wouldn’t even get you a #1 seed. Come on LeBron. You really need to step it up in the 2nd round.
I know LeBron has had a ton of accomplishments in his career, two championships, 4 MVPs, 9 time All-NBA 1st Team. But his early round dominance might be the most impressive. It shows how focused he is when it comes to the postseason. It’s easy to slip up and lose a playoff series you shouldn’t. But LeBron doesn’t let that happen. Stephen Curry and his Warriors are sucking up all the headlines for now, but don’t ignore this incredible feat.