LeBron James has been great for such a long time that we sometimes forget just how much he has improved every single year he has been in the NBA. The Miami Heat superstar developed a post game he didn’t have when he was younger, improved his shot selection and is constantly striving to become a complete player.
James is shooting 55.6% from the field this year, a number that he has increased for seven straight years. In the 2006-07 season he averaged 47.6% in field goal percentage, and has managed to improve that figure every season since then.
In a way, it all makes sense. When an athletically gifted player with superstar potential enters the league, you can expect him to take some ill-advised shots. As the player grows and matures, his shot selection generally does as well. However, James himself credits his hard work in the off-season as the main reason for his steady development:
“It’s not about being a smarter player, I’ve always been intelligent and had a high basketball IQ. It’s just my game has improved. I’ve worked on my game each and every summer and I implement what I do in summer time to the game floor and it works. I understand I’m more efficient, I don’t take as many…You know when you are younger you take bad shots, you take fadeaway shots, contested shots, but you just learn from those moments and continue to get better.”
James has time and again shown that he doesn’t need to jack up 20 or more shots per game to have an immense impact on a game. Instead he opts to read what the defense gives him and make the players around him better.
Miami’s last three games are a perfect example of just how efficient James can be. In these games, James has only taken 16, 14 and 18 shots, yet he has managed to score 30+ points in all of the contests, shooting 70% from the field.
At 28 years of age, LeBron is considered to be at his prime, or at least very close to that. One thing is certain – James is not showing any signs of decline or an intention to slow down, as we continue to be amazed by his ongoing growth.
Vytis is a Miami Heat columnist at RantSports.com. You can follow him on twitter for all the latest news and updates on the Heat and the NBA: @VytisLasaitis