CLEVELAND, Ohio – Yes, it was crazy to see LeBron James drain a buzzer beater to send the Cavaliers into overtime against Washington on Monday night, especially when you consider he did it from a historically unfavorable position for him and his least successful area on the court: At the right shoulder outside the 3-point line.
Following the Cleveland Cavaliers’ 140-135 overtime win against the Wizards, cleveland.com researched and found that out of five areas around the 3-point arc, the right shoulder is James’ second-least favorable spot to make a shot over his career. The bank shot also had added difficulty because he was fading away into the Wizards’ bench.
James averages shooting 32.5 percent from the right shoulder on 1,184 attempts during the past 14 regular seasons. The only area in which his success rate is (by a tiny amount) worse is the top of the key at 32.49 percent.
The left corner has been his most favorable at 40.6 percent, although he seldom goes there — his 309 attempts is by far his fewest at any location.
Overall, James’ best 3-point shooting performance came in Miami during the 2012-13 regular season, when he averaged 40 percent. That was a substantial improvement over 10 seasons — he shot just 29 percent as a rookie in 2003-04.
If it seems that James has gotten more efficient beyond the arc, it’s because he is. His current success rate of 37.4 would be the third highest of his career if maintained for the entire 82 games. Through his last 50 games, James is shooting 35.6 percent from the same area as Monday’s shot. He is well above league average when he’s at the top of the key (55.6 percent) or in the left corner (46.7).