LeBron James credits unflattering stat study for improved shooting

David Richard / USA TODAY Sports

LeBron James isn't dwelling on criticism. He's taking them to heart and rising to the challenge.

James, who's shooting 57.8 percent from the field and 43.3 from deep over the last two weeks, credits his accurate jumpshooting on a statistical study put out by NBA.com's John Schuhmann, according to Cleveland.com's Chris Haynes.

The study found that James was the least-efficient volume shooter (minimum 240 attempts) on shots from outside the paint. Those findings were publicized on the morning of Dec. 29 before the Cleveland Cavaliers took on the Denver Nuggets.

"I actually saw (it) on my Instagram feed that I was the worst-shooting player in the NBA," James said. "I actually saw that when I woke up from a nap. I remember exactly when that was. Denver. Right before the Denver game, so I answered the call."

James dropped 34 points against the Nuggets that night on 13-of-24 shooting as his team easily came away with the third win of their current eight-game streak.

True to form, James' shooting has miraculously found the target since the report. He's shooting better from every area of the court - despite comparable defensive coverage on his jumpshots.

Shot Zone Before Dec. 29 After Dec. 29
Restricted area (RA) 67.6 77.8
In the paint (non-RA) 41.9 44.4
Mid-range 31.9 52.9
3-Pointers 24.8 43.3

Maybe James was just out of rhythm?