LeBron James Is Going To Work On His Shooting Form

Feb 22, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) shoots against Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond (0) in the third quarter at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 22, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) shoots against Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond (0) in the third quarter at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports /

LeBron James is going to work on his shooting form. That could guarantee him another trip to the NBA Finals, another year on the throne, and a new title.

During the Cleveland Cavaliers Summer League game against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday, general manager David Griffin mentioned that LeBron James will be coached up by Damon Jones in order to improve his three-point shooting.

This should put fear in the hearts of the rest of the league, who dare him to shoot because those are his rules, the LeBron Rules. Yet, with improvement from three LeBron gives his team the best chance at repeating as NBA champions. His improvement from three could also coincide with a new title for LeBron. The league’s premier perimeter player.

Look alive Cleveland. The King has another trick up his sleeve and another level to achieve.

LeBron wants to improve his shooting from long-range.

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In this effort, LeBron James perhaps should watch his own videos. He often misses because his mechanics are inconsistent and his balance is nonexistent. He has the strength, he looks like he has the touch. Yet, with LeBron’s ever-changing physique his mechanics may be ever-changing, too.

As LeBron has returned home to The Land, he’s went from hulking behemoth in Miami to a lithe Megatron in 2016. That is to say, he’s still an enormous human being but, he’s built more like a swingman now than a power forward.

The best film for LeBron James to watch to improve his shooting form could be of Jones in the 2007 Three-Point Contest.

Damon Jones was a catch-and-shoot specialist, especially above the break where LeBron likes to take the majority of his threes. Jones was consistent because he bent his knees when he shot, kept a wide base, his shooting motion was compact and he kept his entire arm aligned with the rim, shoulder to finger tip, from gather to follow through.

No, Jones didn’t make every shot in this contest. However, Jones was in a contest that doesn’t mimic in-game situations unless you’re Reggie Miller.

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What Jones did in his career was make 39.0 percent of his threes from deep. Compare that to Ray Allen, who made 40.0 percent of his threes over his career.

As James hones in on his shooting he can keep defenses honest and, thus, provide his team with the keys for a more balanced attack. This line of thought is nothing new of course, it’s obvious.

In Miami, where he would be considered a sniper from deep compared to what he’d done since his return to Cleveland, he had Allen by his side. Allen would shoot in three-point contests that were merely training sessions masked as a fun and competitive event to help LeBron improve.

Within the two years that Allen played for the Miami Heat, LeBron James won the NBA championship. The Miami Heat did so because of a historic shot in Game 6 of the 2013 NBA Finals, yes. They also did so because LeBron took and made his open threes.

In his final season in Miami, LeBron made 37.9 percent of his threes in the regular season. He shot a blistering 40.7 percent of his threes in the playoffs, the highest in his career.

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In a losing effort against the San Antonio Spurs, LeBron made an amazing 51.9 percent of his threes, the highest in his career.

In the 2012-2013 season LeBron made 40.6 percent of his threes during the regular season, the highest of his career, and 37.5 percent in the playoffs.

In the 2013 NBA Finals, LeBron made 12-of-34 (35.3 percent) three-point attempts in 7 games.

In the 2014 NBA Finals, LeBron made 14-of-27 (51.9 percent) three-point attempts in 5 games.

In the 2016 NBA Finals, LeBron made 13-of-35 (37.1 percent) three-point attempts in 7 games.

The 2016 NBA Finals was perhaps the best LeBron has ever looked as a pure perimeter player if you discount Game 5’s post play being a result of Kevin Love‘s pre-game concussion symptoms.

On his way to winning unanimous Finals MVP, LeBron James shot 37.1 percent from behind the three-point line. It wasn’t just the shooting from behind the arc, it was the spin moves, the dunks, the off-the-dribble dominance and the mid-range game that allowed his game to open up.

Jones could emerge as fuel for that fire. Which could make all the difference for the Cavaliers.

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Before the 2016 NBA Finals, LeBron was shooting 30.9 percent from three-point range in the regular season, the worst since he was a rookie. He improved in the playoffs and shot 34.0 percent from distance but still not elite level good, a level LeBron has shown he can consistently be from beyond the line.

In 2014-2015 postseason LeBron’s shooting was atrocious. LeBron shot 22.7 percent from three going into the NBA Finals and  “upped” that figure to 31.0 percent during the 2015 NBA Finals.

LeBron did shoot 35.4 percent during the 2014-2015 regular season. However, that’s when he was fresh from his first season back in Cleveland and with his shooting form and touch still in-tune.

LeBron may or may not need a shooting coach. Whether or not he does, he has one and he’d only benefit from implementing Jones’ shooting mechanics into his form.

During the offseason, players have more time to work on and refine their craft, and there’s no exception for the best player in the world.

Next: Cleveland Cavaliers Offseason Recap Thus Far

This offseason, expect LeBron James to sculpt himself into South Beach shooting form as he transitions from only being the league’s best combo forward to being the league’s best pure perimeter player period.