The Lebron James Guide to Shooting More Free Throws

Lebron James has proven that he is one of the best in the NBA at drawing fouls and getting to the free throw line.  Throughout his career, he has averaged 8.8 free throws per game and he's even managed to improve on those numbers during the 2012 postseason where he is averaging an amazing 10.3 per game. 

There are several reasons why it's important to get to the free throw line.  In addition to increasing your overall points in the game, shooting free throws also slows down the pace of the game and helps you recover from fatigue.  It also puts pressure on the other team because foul trouble (NBA players  6 fouls while NCAA and High School players are allowed 5) may cause the opposing player to play less aggressively or even be forced to sit for long periods of time in fear of getting fouled out.

To be fair, the NBA has a history of showing preferential treatment to their superstars.  So it helps if you're considered to be one of the best players in the NBA and is sponsored by Nike, Sprite, and State Farm - which Lebron is.  But make no mistake, LeBron is very skilled and he has earned all those accolades and sponsorships because of his play on the court.  In this article, I'll show you how Lebron James averages so many free throws and hopefully you can apply some of this tips to your own game.

Attack the Basket

At 6'8" and 280 lbs, Lebron is one of the most physical players in the NBA and one of the best at attacking the basket.  His aggressive style of play is one of the main reason Lebron is awarded so many free throw attempts.  Driving to the basket creates contact and puts pressure on the referee's to call fouls.  It's no surprise that players like Lebron-who attacks the basket-averages more free throws than someone like Ray Allen-who is primarily a jump shooter.  

Before each game, get yourself into an aggressive mindset and make a commitment to attack the basket.  Not only will this create contact with the opponent who is defending you, his teammates will also double team you and attempt to steal the ball from you, which increases the likelihood of a foul being committed.  Remember:  the further you are away from the basket, the less likely you'll receive a foul call.  Get to the basket!

The Classic Pump Fake

There are hundred's of moves that you can do on the basketball court, but the only one you really need to increase the amount of free throws is the classic pump fake.  In a pump fake, the offensive player will raise the ball and pretend that he's going to attempt a shot.  If the pump fake is executed properly, the defender will usually jump to block the shot.  A defender that's up in the air is considered "out of position" and an offensive player who jumps into him is typically rewarded with two free throws.  Lebron is so skilled on offense that the top defenders in the NBA such as Dwight Howard and Thabo Sefalosha will fall victim to one of his pump fakes.  And when they do, all Lebron needs to do is jump into them to get another trip to the free throw line. 

The good news is that this move will work on any park or gym that you play, and it will work on anyone who's guarding you.  The key is to trick your defender into thinking that you're going to shoot the ball, so it's important that your pump fake looks similar to your actual shot.  Practice your pump fake in front of a mirror and make any adjustments as necessary.  And last but not least:  Dont' forget to make your free throws!