LeBron James Struggling With His Shot in the NBA Finals

by June 18, 2013

After posting absurdly efficient shooting numbers during the regular season, so far, LeBron James has been unable to re-create that magic against the San Antonio Spurs defense in the NBA Finals. Now, the Miami Heat are facing elimination, and LBJ must regain his touch—and fast. Per the Miami Herald: “Since the NBA introduced the three-point shot in 1979-1980, no starting small forward with any kind of three-point element to his game has ever shot a higher percentage than LeBron James did this season. But that deft touch has deserted James during four of the five games in these NBA Finals. Even shots in the basket area were a struggle in Game 5. James’ 43.6 percent shooting in this series is surprising, considering he made 56.5 percent of his shots during the regular season – remarkable for a non-center. In fact, no starting small forward who made more than two three-pointers in a season ever shot as high a percentage as James did this season. Chris Mullin was closest, at 55.3 percent in 1996-97. But aside from his exemplary 15 for 25 performance in Game 4, James has been inefficient offensively. He shot 7 for 16 in Game 1, 7 for 17 in Game 2, 7 for 21 in Game 3 and 8 for 22 in Game 5. Not only did James shoot just 2 for 11 in the second half Sunday, he finished the game 5 for 15 on shots in the paint. ‘I think between the two of us, we probably missed 12 layups,’ James said of himself and Dwyane Wade. ‘I missed a lob. I missed two layups, in transition on the same possession. Those are shots we make.’ James shot 1 for 8 Sunday when defended by Boris Diaw, whose length seemed to give him some problems. Conversely, James was 7 for 14 against all other defenders. ‘Boris is a pretty good defender,’ Spurs guard Tony Parker said. ‘It gives a different look for LeBron. He looks awkward, but he gets the job done. Every time in Europe he guards guys like that, the fours who can’t really move – though James moves just fine.'”