(CBS) When we think about the best basketball player in the world, we generally think about Heat star LeBron James. And for good reason — he can take over and change a game like few in the history of the sport.
Well, this season he hasn’t been quite the all-around star of years past — not on the defensive end, anyway.
James has registered a subpar defensive season for his standards, according to this Deadspin article that in part cites exclusive data of ESPN’s Tom Haberstroh. While that’s still better than many defenders in the NBA, here’s some interesting statistics:
— James is keeping his man in front of him just 40 percent of the time on drives, beneath the league median of 50 percent.
— He’s being beaten back on defense 2.8 times per game, which is more than league average.
— His defensive wins shares rating is 3.6, the lowest since his rookie season.
— He’s giving up 100.4 points per 100 spot-up jumpers that he defends against, which is worse than league average and a sign his close-outs haven’t been what they once were.