Ray Allen Working to Fix LeBron James’ Free-Throw Shooting

by May 08, 2013

It turns out that Ray Allen does more than spot up for three-pointers for the Miami Heat. The veteran guard also moonlights as LeBron James’ personal free-throw shooting coach. The two are working together in an effort to fix the one weakness in LBJ’s game. Per the Heat’s team website: “A career 74.7 percent free-throw shooter, James has never hit the 80 percent mark for a regular or post season. And it’s just about the only benchmark the four-time MVP has yet to hit after topping 40 percent from three this year. If James has a weakness, it’s hitting, not getting, free-throws. And he knows it. ‘I need and I want to shoot in the 80s,’ James said during the Heat’s week off. ‘That’s my next goal, my free-throw shooting.’ As it turns out, the Path to 80 has James not only trying to match Allen free-throw for free-throw after practice, but trying to match Allen’s mechanics in games in the second round of the playoffs. […] ‘That’s what we’ve been working on, trying not to get him to dip,’ said Allen, a career 89.4 percent shooter. ‘That dip is what puts the ball in a weird position. It’s interesting because his mechanics, if you watch them when he misses – I’ve studied him shooting them a lot – that dip puts him in a bad position to where he starts trying to move the ball in different places and he ends up missing in different places. We’ve talked about it. He understands it. I just watch him and try to give him information and he seems like he has better confidence. I don’t know if he adopted my routine, I think he just goes to what’s comfortable for him. Looks good. He missed two free throws [last night] but he looks like he has a greater deal of confidence when he’s on the line. Just how he shoots it looks a lot more fluid. Our little free throw games, they’re definitely helping him.’ […] ‘The other thing I told him, I said, ‘Sometimes you can have great form and you just miss,’ Allen said. ‘You didn’t do anything wrong, you just sometimes miss.'”