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

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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.

Jazz boost international bona fides with new minor-league coach

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Martin Schiller has been named coach of the Salt Lake City Stars, the Utah Jazz’s NBA G League affiliate.

Schiller previously served as an assistant coach of MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg in Germany and replaces Dean Cooper. He was an assistant coach for the Artland Dragons from 2010-15.

Schiller has also been an assistant coach on the German National Team since 2015, where he worked with Jazz assistant coach Alex Jensen.

Schiller hails from Vienna, Austria, and Stars vice president of basketball operations Bart Taylor lauded him for his international experience and player development background.

The Jazz organization is known to have close relationships with the international basketball community. The Jazz currently have eight international players.

Kyrie Irving will wear No. 11 with Celtics

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BOSTON (AP) — Newly acquired guard Kyrie Irving will wear No. 11 in Boston because the Celtics already have retired the numbers he wore in college and with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Irving wore No. 11 at two New Jersey high schools before switching to No. 1 at Duke. He wore No. 2 with the Cavaliers for the first six years of his NBA career.

The Celtics retired No. 1 for founder and original owner Walter Brown. They retired No. 2 for former coach and general manager Red Auerbach.

In all, the Celtics have retired 21 numbers, with Paul Pierce’s No. 34 next in line for the TD Garden rafters.

 

PBT Extra: Cavaliers’ new GM aces first big test with Kyrie Irving trade

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Everyone in the NBA — heck, nearly everyone living in the Western hemisphere — knew Kyrie Irving wanted out of Cleveland. That should kill the Cavaliers’ leverage and make it hard to get enough quality back.

New GM Koby Altman — the guy thrust into the job when David Griffin was shown the door — pulled it off brilliantly.

That’s what I talk about in this new PBT Extra. With Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder, the Cavaliers remain the team to beat in the East this season. The Brooklyn Nets pick gives them flexibility going forward, whatever LeBron James decides to do next season.

First time at the plate in the big leagues and Altman crushed it to straight away center field.

Cavaliers-Celtics deal first offseason trade involving players who just met in NBA Finals or conference finals

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The Cavaliers and Celtics played in last year’s Eastern Conference finals. The teams were widely expected to meet there again.

Yet, Cleveland and Boston just completed a blockbuster trade – Kyrie Irving for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and the Nets’ 2018 first-round pick.

That seemed odd.

In fact, it’s unprecedented.

That is an incredible fact, one which speaks to LeBron Jamescachet. The Cavs are emphasizing this season, LeBron’s last before a player option, by loading up with veterans Thomas and Crowder. With LeBron still reigning in Cleveland, the Celtics are delaying their peak by acquiring the younger Irving.

Adding to the intrigue: the Cavs and Celtics are still favored to meet in this year’s conference finals. At minimum, they’ll face off in a(n even more) highly anticipated opening-night matchup.