Miami Heat James smiles after making a basket against Charlotte Bobcats during their NBA game in Charlotte

LeBron James cutting back on three point shots. Way back.


Through the Miami Heat’s first three games, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade have combined for zero three-point attempts.

Not one. Last season they would have averaged 19 by now.

This is not by accident. As part of Miami’s new aggressive, up-tempo style LeBron and Wade are trying to attack the rim, not settle for threes. Leave the deep shots to the specialists, like James Jones and Mike Miller, the leaders on the Heat have to attack the rim.

LeBron isn’t even really practicing the three anymore, he told Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel.

“I’ve cut back a lot,” he said. “I still work on it and still shoot it. It’s not part of my everyday workout, though….

“I don’t know if I’ll be able to go a whole season without shooting a 3,” he said with a smile, as the Heat prepared for Friday’s game against the Minnesota Timberwolves. “It’ll be those games where you feel real good and you’re shooting the ball extremely well, and that’s when you may go back to the 3-point line.”

LeBron shot 33 percent from three last year, Wade 30.6 percent. In contrast, so far this season LeBron is shooting 78.9 percent inside three feet and 85.7 percent out to 10 feet (10 shots per game average). It’s not rocket science — you do what you are most effective at. LeBron and Wade are two of the best at getting to the rim and finishing in the league. Do that, don’t float around the perimeter.

The only question is if the Heat will slip back into bad habits as the season wears on. Watch the three-ball attempts to see.

Kings pick up option on G Ben McLemore

Ben McLemore, Rodney Hood
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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) The Sacramento have picked up the 2016-17 option on guard Ben McLemore‘s contract.

General manager Vlade Divac announced the move Saturday.

McLemore was Sacramento’s first-round pick in 2013. He averaged 12.1 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.7 assists last season.

Paul George reiterates “I don’t know if I’m cut out for a four spot”

Paul George

In the Pacers first exhibition game of the season Saturday against the Pelicans, Paul George started at the power forward spot and looked healthy — that should be the big takeaway. He also showed off his offensive game in the first quarter, eventually finishing the night with 18 points on 7-of-15 shooting. He forced some shots in the second half and had some defensive challenges, but it was a solid outing for a first preseason game.

George did not see it that way, and that will end up being the big takeaway.

He complained about playing power forward during training camp and given the chance after this one game he did it again, as reported by Candace Buckner of the Indy Star.

“I don’t know if I’m cut out for a four spot,” George said after the Pacers’ 110-105 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans, a game in which he started matched up against 6-foot-11 All-Star Anthony Davis.

“I don’t know if this is my position. We’ll sit and watch tape and I’m sure I’ll talk with coach (Frank Vogel). I’ll talk with Larry (Bird) as well to get both their inputs on how the first game went but…I’m still not comfortable with it regardless of the situation. It’s still something I have to adjust to or maybe not. Or maybe it’s something we can go away from.”

George sees himself as a wing, where he has played his entire career. He doesn’t like defending traditional fours, as a scorer he doesn’t like expending all that energy defending pick-and-rolls and banging with bigger bodies. He’s been clear about that.

He still needs to be open to the idea. How much time George gets at the four on any given night should depend on the matchup — and Anthony Davis is about as rough a matchup as he is going to see. Davis scored 18 points in 15 minutes, and the Pelicans controlled the paint against the small-ball Pacers. George had a hard time defending Davis — welcome to a rather large club, PG. That said, George scored 12 points in the first quarter mostly with Davis on him, he pulled the big out in space and got what he wanted.

Back to the matchups point, George will struggle defensively against the best fours in the game (most of whom are in the West). But what about the nights in the East when George would be matched up on Thaddeus Young from Brooklyn, Jared Sullinger (or David Lee, or whoever) from Boston, or Aaron Gordon with the Magic, or Carmelo Anthony with the Knicks when they play small? There are a lot of lineups the Pacers will see where George at the four makes sense.

The Pacers are transitioning from a plodding and defensive-minded squad to a more up-tempo style, and that’s going to take time— a lot more than one preseason game. However, if George is throwing cold water on the plan after this one effort, it might take a lot longer and be a lot bumpier to make that transition than we pictured.