Michael Jordan vs LeBron James: Comparing Shooting Stats From Their Highest Scoring Season
2024/04/01

ADVERTISEMENT

The debate about the greatest NBA player of all time often centers around LeBron James and Michael Jordan. Jordan developed a versatile scoring game early on, while James focused on improving his shooting and became a better scorer. To compare their shooting abilities, let's look at the distances from which they scored the most during their top-scoring seasons. In Jordan's best scoring season, 1986-87, he averaged 37.1 points per game and shot 48.2% from the field. However, the NBA didn't start tracking shooting stats by distance until the 1996-97 season. During that season, Jordan excelled from mid-range, scoring 29.

ADVERTISEMENT

6 points per game on 48.6% shooting from the field and 37.4% from three-point range. His most preferred area on the court was 15-19 feet, where he made 3.6 out of 7.2 shots per game at a 49.5% accuracy. He also performed well from 10-14 feet, making 2.9 out of 5.7 shots per game at a 51.5% accuracy. From further out, Jordan scored 1.5 out of 3.7 shots per game from 20-24 feet, and he made 1.35 three-pointers per game. In contrast, James' best scoring season was 2005-06, when he averaged 31.4 points per game on 48% shooting. However, there is a significant difference in their mid-range games. James excelled near the basket, making 5.

ADVERTISEMENT

9 out of 8.9 shots per game from within five feet at a 65.9% accuracy. He struggled from further away, shooting 37.4% from 6-29 feet and preferring the 20-24 feet range where he made 1.9 out of 4.9 shots per game at a 39.9% accuracy. James struggled the most from 10-14 feet, making only 0.5 out of 1.7 shots per game at 29.6% accuracy. His shooting from 15-19 feet was also below average, making 1.3 out of 3.8 shots per game at 34.3% accuracy. From 24-29 feet, James made 0.9 out of 2.2 shots per game, relying on his three-point shooting. During that season, he made 127 three-pointers, averaging 1.

ADVERTISEMENT

60 threes per game at a 33.5% accuracy. The comparison of their shooting stats suggests that Jordan was significantly better than James from mid-range during his 1996-97 season. James was still developing his long-range game, which he perfected in later seasons. When it comes to mid-range artistry, Jordan is arguably superior to James, although their shooting mechanics played a significant role in their respective strengths. Jordan's jump shot was well-suited for mid-range scoring, while James developed a shooting style that worked better from longer distances.

ADVERTISEMENT

AD
Article
news flash