Originally posted on RealGM  |  Last updated 5/14/13
LeBron James played one fewer minute per game in the opening round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs compared to 2012 (37.8 to 36.8) and 1.2 fewer minutes in the Conference Semifinals (42.2 to 41.0). Perhaps more importantly, James and the Miami Heat are on pace to play fewer games and fewer cumulative minutes. The Heat needed five games to defeat the New York Knicks in the opening round last season, allowing this season's sweep of the Milwaukee Bucks to result in 42 fewer minutes for James. If the Heat beat the Bulls in Game 5 and James plays 40 minutes, he will have played 49 fewer total minutes. The Boston Celtics extended last season's Eastern Conference Finals to seven games and 320 total minutes for James. If the Heat ultimately advance to The Finals in five games, James will enter the final round having played in approximately 180 fewer minutes than last season. James showed no signs of fatigue in last season's Finals, but it was certainly a concern for many observers considering what he was being assigned to do on both sides of the floor.
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