After the Los Angeles Lakers finished second-to-last in three-point percentage last season, many felt that it would only make sense for the team to put an emphasis on adding shooting in the offseason. Boy, did that idea get shut down fast.
With the exception of Michael Beasley and LeBron James, none of the players the Lakers added in free agency have shot 38 percent or higher from behind the 3-point line in their respective careers. Even James barely qualifies, having only shot at least 38 percent from behind the arc once in his career (during the 2012-13 season).
However, despite the numbers suggesting otherwise, Beasley isn’t the least bit worried with how his new team might shoot this upcoming season. Beasley sat down with Leo Sepkowitz of Bleacher Report and addressed the concerns with the shooting on the team head on:
B/R: On paper, there isn’t much three-point shooting on this team. What will the collective approach be? I doubt it will look like Golden State or Houston, driving and kicking for threes.
Beasley: I think if you look at everybody individually, in the past, in their respective roles, they weren’t asked to shoot threes. Like, Lance was playing with Paul George, and Rondo played with Ray Allen. LeBron can’t just sit out there and wait for somebody to make a play for him. I’m not saying we can all be 50 percent three-point shooters, but particularly if you look at my percentages, my three-point percentage is not bad at all. It’s actually pretty good. I think we’re all smart enough to play the game the right way.
Before we go any further, I’d like to tip my hat to Beasley for really hammering home the fact that he is a good 3-point shooter. If you didn’t know before, you certainly know now.
Beyond that, this seems to be another instance of Beasley using 11 percent of his brain to explain why the rest of us are only using 10 percent, because his logic is a little hard to follow, especially with the examples he used.
Stephenson hasn’t played with Paul George since the 2013-14 season, which also happens to be one of his better seasons shooting from the three-point line (35.2 percent on 3.1 attempts per game). You can say a lot of things about George, but he wasn’t holding Stephenson, or anyone (except for maybe C.J. Miles), back from being a lights out three-point shooter.
The same goes for Rondo, who hasn’t played alongside Ray Allen for the greater half of this decade. Rondo might not be the complete non-threat from the outside that he used to be, but he’s still someone teams are comfortable leaving open. The 32-year-old shot 33.9 percent on wide open three-pointers last season, per NBA.com.
Not all hope is lost for Los Angeles, though. All three Lakers that shot above 38 percent from behind the arc are returning next season, including Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who shot 42.3 percent from deep after the All-Star break (26 games). Second-year players Lonzo Ball and Kyle Kuzma are also expected to see a bump in efficiency from playing alongside LeBron.
The Lakers will be fine shooting the ball next season, but it’s doubtful it will be because of the players they picked up in free agency.
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