His "bad" game in the past week was an 11-for-18 showing against Houston. He shot 13 for 14 against Charlotte on Monday, the lone miss coming on a layup attempt where he appeared to get fouled. Against the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday night, he shot 9 for 11 — and probably had a case that one of the two misses he was charged with really wasn't a shot attempt at all.
Nonetheless, it all adds up to James missing 10 shots in the last 12-1/2 quarters of Heat basketball. Across the NBA, 14 different players missed at least 10 shots on Friday night alone.
"I mean, come on. We try to come up with new superlatives every single game," Spoelstra said. "He's the best player in the game and he's continuing to reinvent himself. This guy isn't trying to shy away from work ethic or preparation. He's getting after it. Our film sessions, he treats them like he's a coach. He sees something, he'll point it out to the guys. He's continuing to improve. And quite frankly, we need it."
James said he's done nothing out of the ordinary to raise his shooting numbers.
Hard work, he said, has been the difference. The Heat added one of the game's all-time elite shooters in Allen last summer, and James is typically involved in some sort of shooting session with the NBA's career 3-point leader after every practice. He hits the practice court to take game-situation jumpers when his legs are fresh. He does it again when his legs are tired.
His confidence might be higher than his shooting percentage. And it's showing.
"When I'm able to go out there on the floor, I just try to make things happen," James said. "But I want to continue to get better. I'm not satisfied and I work on my game each and every day, trying to figure out ways I can get better, both offensively and defensively, from the interior to the exterior, whatever the case may be."