Could NBA Xmas Day jerseys slow down shooters?

Dec 23, 2013 |
LeBron James hopes the NBA kept the receipt for those short-sleeve Christmas Day jerseys, with many of his team’s perimeter shooters voicing their dislike of the Dec. 25 outfit.

James blasted the new-look jerseys ahead of Miami’s Xmas Day showdown with the Los Angeles Lakers, according to Joseph Goodman of the Miami Herald, saying the Heat’s shooters “are already upset about” the short-sleeve shirts.

“I can’t have my shooters out there worrying about some sleeves and not shooting the ball,” James told reporters.

Odds have been out for the Christmas Day NBA games since the schedule was released. Miami opened as a 6-point road favorite against the Lakers.

The Heat are currently 20-6 SU, 13-13 ATS and 16-10 O/U. Miami is shooting a combined 51.5 percent from the floor – first in the NBA – and 38.3 percent from 3-point range – fifth in the league. If any team could be hindered by the tight-fitting apparel, it would be the Heat.

Teams have been wearing the short-sleeve style jerseys since last season when the Golden State Warriors introduced them. There’s been no evidence that the form-fitting shirts have impacted shooting percentages in those limited appearances and the NBA has said that the shirt style does not limit range of motion.

Last Christmas, the five NBA games played to a 2-3 O/U record with the traditional singlet-style jerseys. Miami defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder 103-97, shooting 47.5 percent from the floor, 28.6 percent from beyond the arc (8 for 28) and played Under the 203-point total.

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