LeBron James has added a skyhook to his already deep arsenal of weapons, unleashing one for two points in a preseason game against the Indiana Pacers.
Here is the shot via GIFDSports.
This is not the first time we have heard James linked to the move made famous by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. As early as 2012 there was a report that James was working on the skyhook during practice, but now he is using it in games.
If James can master the shot or even just be effective with it, the move will be devastating for defenses, especially against a player like James. Not only does the shot give James another post-up move near the basket, but it will change how opposing teams will defend him in the paint.
Teams will have two main choices, and neither is ideal: 1. Just play LeBron 1-on-1 and give up the shot and hope he misses; or 2. Have a big man help on defence and cut James off earlier instead of defending at the basket.
The second choice sounds like a better option but may actually be better for the Cavs in new head coach David Blatt’s spread offence. James is such a good passer, one of the best in the NBA, that if a second defender collapses on James before he is committed to attacking the basket, somebody is going to be open.
We can see this during the skyhook against the Pacers. Player A is defending the basket and is in no position to defend the shot. That means one of the other three defenders needs to help out. If any of them do move toward LeBron, somebody like Kevin Love, a great 3-point shooter, is going to be open for an uncontested shot.
LeBron’s skyhook may not be as devastating of a shot as Abdul-Jabbar’s, but with his passing it doesn’t need to be.
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