Although his start to the regular season was slow, in comparison to his normal production, LeBron James has been on an efficiency tear as of late, now shooting near 60 percent from the field, and get this, 80 percent from the free throw line. It would seem James’ summer prediction of averaging that percentage from the free throw line is actually happening.
What will once again separate James from the rest of the MVP competition is how diverse and multi-faceted his game is. Each season, James makes it a priority to improve drastically in a specific statistical category, while maintaining his high averages in everything else. What this is doing is actuality is making James nearly un-guardable on the basketball court. Outside of the tremendous jump in his free throw percentage, James is still averaging a career-high field goal percentage, while averaging a career-low in minutes. This is a perfect description of ideal efficiency in the basketball realm. The reigning MVP’s assist and rebounding averages are down from last season, but this is due to the reduced minutes he has taken on as part of the maintenance program the Miami Heat‘s training staff has instilled to prepare for the upcoming playoffs.
The definition of an MVP-caliber player is one that elevates his team to the utmost success it can attain. Even with the amount of talent the Heat currently have on the roster, James is the glue that holds it all together. He is currently the Heat leader in points, rebounds and assists. What does that tell you? James also claims the second-highest shooting mark from the field, averaging 59.8 percent. On a team full of lethal shooters, the only player currently ahead of James in terms of shooting efficiency is Chris Andersen, which is due to the majority of his shots coming two-for-four feet from the rim.
James is beginning to dominant the league in efficiency, and what’s scary is that he’s just getting warmed up, with the season only a fifth of the way through. There will plenty of competition for the MVP crown from the likes of Chris Paul, Kevin Durant, Kevin Love and others, but at the end of the regular season, James will once again be touting the Maurice Podoloff trophy for the fifth time, joining Michael Jordan, Bill Russell and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for second-most in league history. James’ historic shooting efficiency is just the beginning for his campaign for Most Valuable Player this season. We will all be witness.