Picking on LeBron’s efficiency during a Finals triple-double got me thinking about former Cardinal Craig Paquette.
I don’t assume the two have ever lived in the same sentence before, and rightfully so.
Paquette, as many recall, had a magical 2001 season for the Redbirds, posting a .326 OBP.
That’s not magical you say? It isn’t. But it was just the 2nd time in his career that he topped .300, and he was .260-ish for his career before arriving in St. Louis.
Tony LaRussa used Paquette carefully, and infrequently, for 340 ABs. He faced his share of left-handed pitching (.360 OBP) and relievers with a fastball and little more in their arsenal, clubbing 15 HRs.
Tony probably maximized Paquette’s efficiency, and the Detroit Tigers noticed. Paquette’s career earnings turned out to be $8.3 million. The Tigers gave him $5 million of that after his Cardinal tenure at age 33.
Paquette hit .194 and .152 in his two seasons in Detroit.
Picking nits about LeBron’s shooting percentage during a triple-double on the road against a 67 win team who had lost twice at home, minus
not one, not two of his all-star teammates is sort of like saying you don’t like how pointy Kate Upton’s elbows are.
Of course one’s efficiency declines when more is put in his path and tools are taken away.
It takes more to gas up a Ford F-250 than it does a Volkswagen Jetta, despite the latter’s superior “efficiency”.
Michael Jordan missed more shots than he made in his career.
Kobe Bryant missed more shots than he made in his career.
And both have career playoff FG% slightly less than their regular season FG%.
Not because they weren’t “efficient”, but because of the superior opponents and the heightened defensive awareness.
It’s hard, that whole triple-double in the finals thing.
Craig Paquette never did it.