Breaking Down How LeBron James, the Perfect Baller, Keeps Getting Better

Brendan BowersContributor IINovember 20, 2012

PHOENIX, AZ - NOVEMBER 17:  LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat during the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at US Airways Center on November 17, 2012 in Phoenix, Arizona.  The Heat defeated the Suns 97-88. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

In addition to winning the NBA MVP in 2011-12, the Miami Heat's LeBron James won his first championship. He accomplished that by improving his offensive efficiency and moving his game closer to the basket.

He continues to get better this season by attempting fewer three-point field goals than he did earlier in his career, and he is on pace to set a new career high in rebounding as well.

Three-Point Shooting

During the 2011-12 season, LeBron averaged 2.4 three-point field-goal attempts per game. In the previous five seasons combined, he averaged 4.4.

He is still under three attempts per game this year through the first 11 games he's played. Because of this, his field-goal percentage of 52.4 is higher than his career mark of 48.4.

In the highlight above, LeBron catches the basketball at the three-point arc. The three-point shot is available, but he appears to have decided he's attacking the basket before even catching the pass. 

When he doesn't settle for long-range shots, LeBron is just about unstoppable.

Shots From 16 to 23 Feet

LeBron has continued to decrease his shot attempts from 16 to 23 feet out. According to ESPN's HoopData, James averages only 4.5 field-goal attempts from this range as opposed to 5.6 last season.  

In turn, his field-goal percentage is getting better from this area of the floor. 

In the play above, LeBron passes up the opportunity to settle for a long-range jump shot. Without hesitation, he attacks the basket instead and finishes emphatically.

Closer to the Basket 

Over the last two seasons, James is moving his offensive attack into areas of the floor typically occupied by power forwards.

From zero to nine feet away from the basket, LeBron took an average of 8.8 shots per game last season. He converted a staggering 69 percent, making six field goals per game from this distance.

In the video above, he demonstrates his ability to score from this area of the floor against the Milwaukee Bucks.

He is attempting 8.1 field goals from this distance so far this season, converting on an even better 71.6 percent of those shots.


As LeBron moves closer to the basket, he is creating more opportunities to impact the game as a rebounder.

LeBron is averaging 9.0 rebounds per game; his previous high in a season was 7.9.

Now that he is spending less time on the perimeter, he should be able to maintain this pace.