In the Miami Heat — Indiana Pacers here’s how many times LeBron got to the free throw line each game.
So it’s not like LeBron’s been unable to get to the free throw line throughout the playoffs. This has been a problem that started in the NBA Finals.
Now obviously, the Spurs aren’t some chump regular season team like the Washington Wizards or the Toronto Raptors. These are the San Antonio Spurs, one of the best teams in the NBA (some would argue, the best team in the NBA) and the Western Conference Champions. Their defense is not as leaky as the Cleveland Cavaliers’ — I mean, one reason why LeBron has been having so much trouble offensively is that Kawhi Leonard has been chasing LeBron around every pick, contesting every half-open jumper, and making life generally miserable for LeBron when he has the ball. (I wouldn’t be surprised if Kawhi Leonard is in Miami right now, keying LeBron’s car with Tony Parker driving the get-away car and Danny Green is snapchatting the entire thing to Tim Duncan and Popovich.)
In games decided by a couple points here and there, free throws are incredibly important. And the Spurs have clearly had the free throw advantage so far in the playoffs, which only bodes well for them in the future. Especially if LeBron continues to be as unassertive as he was two years ago.