In The Bonus: LeBron's an artist in the paint

In The Bonus: LeBron's an artist in the paint
January 21, 2014, 5:45 pm
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MIAMI — Finding a place on the floor where LeBron James isn't comfortable is easier said than done.

But scoring in the paint has been his sweet spot most of this season.

He comes into tonight's game having made 269 baskets in the paint, good enough for the fourth-highest total in the league this season. The 6-foot-9 small forward is the only player ranked in the top seven and his 13.5 points in the paint per game is second to Minnesota center Nikola Pekovic (13.7).

"LeBron's a tough cover, no matter where he's at on the floor," Boston's Jeff Green told

For years, there have been complaints about James expanding his game to include a more consistent jump-shot while mixing in a low-post game.

The four-time league MVP has answered his critics with what's easily the most complete game of any player in the NBA currently.

And while his game is impressive on many levels, he has truly stepped up his play in the paint.

James is shooting an NBA-best 73.9 percent on shots in the paint.

Putting that in perspective, the league average is 53.3 percent.

And as you begin to look at the shot distribution of James' shots this year, it's clear that he has made scoring around the basket a priority.

This season, 51.5 percent of James' points come from shots in the paint. And of the shots he misses, often those result in free throw attempts which is evident by 21.7 percent of his points coming from the line. Two-point shots and three-pointers account for 11.3 and 15.5 percent of his points, respectively.