LeBron James has one major weakness in his game – hitting free throws. Why is the all time great at such an essential basketball skill? Let’s find out.
More often than not, LeBron James has found it easy to get to the free throw line throughout his career. His ball-handling, body control and powerful frame allow him to get to positions from where fouling him is the only option left to prevent him from shooting. James averages 8 free throw attempts per game in the regular season and 9.2 in the playoffs.
LeBron James’ free throw percentage
His career free throw percentage for both regular season and the playoffs seem to be at a respectable 74%. However, we have observed that The King’s surety of converting freebies decreases significantly in the last 5 minutes of games. In clutch time, James’ free throw percentage was 48.1% in the 2017-18 season. It has hovered around that same figure for the past 8-10 seasons.
Why does LeBron James miss free throws?
Why does LeBron suffer at the charity stripe during crunch time? A Reddit user took the time to examine his free throw misses against the Trail Blazers on Tuesday. According to him, James’s alignment of his right elbow away from the rim was primarily responsible for him missing the freebies.
In addition to his elbow being misaligned, LeBron’s center of gravity is off base in the frame above. He’s leaning precariously forward and looks quite off balance. Most of his body weight is on his left foot and this creates a clear imbalance in his posture while shooting. Finally, LeBron moves his right foot back towards his left in order to get back in balance.
This easily identifiable and rectifiable error in technique is something LeBron could easily have sorted out much earlier in his career. It could play a crucial role in the days to come if the Trail Blazers and possible later playoff opponents use the Hack-a-Shaq tactic on LeBron this season.