For all the greatness and dominance LeBron James has displayed during the course of his 16-year career, free throw shooting has continued to plague him. His struggles on a Los Angeles Lakers team that as a whole doesn’t fare well at the line has only amplified those woes.
So too have a growing number of losses to inferior opponents that may ultimately prevent the Lakers from snapping their five-year playoff drought. They went 15-for-23 (62.3 percent) at the free throw line in a 118-109 loss to the Phoenix Suns.
James was 3-of-7 at the charity stripe, with two misses coming in crunch time and essentially icing the win for the Suns. “It’s frustrating for me personally how I’m shooting free throws,” James said.
“Last night I was 8-for-10, shot the ball well throughout the whole game. Then tonight I go 4-for-9, or whatever I was. For an individual part of it, that’s frustrating to me, to miss free throws.”
On the season James is now shooting a career-worst 66.9 percent at the line. He shot 73.1 percent in two of the last three seasons, and above 71 percent in all but two of his previous 15 seasons.
James’ best month with the Lakers came in October when he shot 78.7 percent on free throws over eight games. He coming off a season-worst 60.4 percent in eight February games. In November, James self-assessed as being ‘garbage’ at the free throw line.
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