A LeBron James Guide to Advanced Stats and Efficiency
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LeBron James has been the most statistically efficient player in the NBA over each of the last six seasons.
Fueling this production for James has been an awareness of advanced statistics along with a personal dedication to improving in areas highlighted by these metrics.
During the 2012-13 campaign, for example, James capitalized on this approach to shoot a career high from the field along with a career best from three-point range of 56.5 and 40.6 percent respectively.
Among his statistical accomplishments that have been less heralded, LeBron also averaged a career low in turnovers of 2.97.
After a rookie year where James posted a player efficiency rating of 18.3, he also concluded this past regular season by improving his PER just over 13 points better than where he started.
Similarly, since 2007, James has also improved his true shooting percentage by nearly nine points.
He has been able to accomplish these feats, in part, by capitalizing on his strengths in taking and making the best shots available.
LeBron has been the most efficient player in the NBA for the last six seasons
According to Hoopdata.com, the league average for Player Efficiency Rating was 13.46 in 2012-13.
In each of the last six years, as highlighted by the chart above, James' regular-season PER has never been lower than 27.
Additionally, even including the 27.34 rating in 2010-11, LeBron also finished with the best PER in the NBA each season.
This level of dominating efficiency is not something that happened by accident, either. As a rookie, during the 2003-04 campaign, James finished the season ranked 48th with a PER of only 18.3 before working annually to improve that number.
James has improved his true shooting percentage dramatically since 2007
Among all NBA players who appeared in at least 65 games during the regular season, LeBron James ranked third in terms of true shooting percentage, according to Hoopdata.com, at 64.2 percent.
Only Tyson Chandler and Kevin Durant finished with better marks at 67.4 and 64.6 percent respectively. The league average, for additional perspective, was 53.6 percent.
As illustrated by the chart above, James has improved his true shooting percentage nearly nine points since 2006-07.
Over the last three seasons, LeBron's dedicated approach to improving his true shooting percentage has also led to an annual increase since joining the Miami Heat in the summer of 2010.
An increased efficiency on field-goal attempts at rim
LeBron was able to beat Paul George and his Indiana Pacers teammates to the rim for this layup that gave Miami a Game 1 win as time expired in the Eastern Conference finals.
Throughout the 2012-13 campaign, James has used his supreme combination of size, speed and strength to convert field goals at the rim just like this at an alarming rate.
According to Hoopdata.com, James connected on 78.3 percent of shots inside of three feet this season. This is an improvement from 75.4 percent last year and 72.1 before that.
The increased production in this specific area of his offensive game has been a major driver for the career-high field-goal percentage of 56.5 percent that James posted this year overall.
Capitalizing on corner threes in 2012-13
The three-point arc measures 23' 9" from the center of the hoop. In each corner, however, the three-point line measures only 22".
While improving his three-point percentage to a career high 40.6 in 2012-13, James attempted 24 more three-pointers from the corner than than he did in 2011-12.
From the right corner, specifically, LeBron knocked down 17 of his 31 attempts. That percentage of 54.8 was better than any other area behind the three-point line this season, as highlighted by the shot chart above.
Combining both corners James shot 21-of-43 for 48.8 percent, which is also better than any other area.
Last season, for example, he attempted only 19 corner threes combined while shooting 36.2 percent from long range overall.
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