It seems ridiculous to say that a four-time MVP and two-time NBA champion needs to improve a certain area of his astounding game, but if the Miami Heat are going to climb the treacherous mountain to a third consecutive NBA championship, LeBron James will need to reinvent himself as a player once again to remain on top of the league.
Over the course of James’ illustrious ten-year career, his efficiency rating has gone sky high. James shot over 56 percent from the field last season, way above his career average of 49 percent. He also shot at a career high clip from beyond the three-point line. With a reduction of minutes averaged over the last three seasons with the Heat, this is a sign that James is aggressively working on his shot selection and shooting efficiency.
What James has to improve on this season without a doubt is his free throw shooting percentage. Every team in the NBA will be gunning for the Heat this season and won’t be afraid to use physical force against the defending champs, especially around the rim. This Heat are no strangers to this type of brutal type of play, but with the increasing amount of fouls the Heat will incur, especially against James, it is vital that the team as a whole shoots at a high percentage from the free throw line. This is the one area of James’ game that has always been a weakness, if you could even call it that. The 75 percent that James shot at the line last season (the fourth lowest of his career) won’t cut it during one of the most important seasons in franchise history.
During James’s tenure with the Cleveland Cavaliers, he complained about not having quality talent around him in order to compete for a championship. This was the reason he signed with the Heat. This is also one of the main reasons he has won multiple championships with them. This season could be the first time that the talent on the Heat roster won’t be enough. A drastic improvement in a crucial area of James’ game, though, could be the key to winning a third straight championship this season.