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Friday, May 30, 2014
Why LeBron shouldn't have passed to Bosh

By Dean Oliver
ESPN Stats & Information

In the closing seconds of Game 5 on Wednesday, LeBron James drove into the lane and elected to pass the ball to Chris Bosh for a corner 3-point attempt.

LeBron James
James
Over the last two days, there has been a debate about whether or not LeBron should've taken that shot himself or if his pass to Bosh was a wise decision.

Should LeBron have taken that shot or passed?

Because of new analytical data that the NBA is now collecting, we have an answer to that question. The answer is that he should take that shot.

Here’s how we know that:

The NBA.com SportVu data tracks where all players are, including the defense. With that information, we can look at how well James makes that shot with a couple players right on him. Over the course of the season, he makes that shot about 70 percent of the time. That’s true whether it’s one guy closely guarding him or two defenders on him with one being a big man. That 70 percent number is the best in the NBA and far above the NBA average, which is about 43 percent.

A normal basketball player should definitely pass out of that situation. However, LeBron is not a normal basketball player. If he’s in that specific game-winning or game-tying situation again, I, having worked with coaching staffs before doing analytics, would want to plant in his head that he should shoot that shot.