The Lakers struggled all game against the Atlanta Hawks. Not only did they shoot 16.1% from three, but they also had a total of 22 turnovers. About nine times out of ten, a team is going to lose that game.
Don’t believe me? This season, only one other team shot equal to or under 16.1% and had at least 22 turnovers in a game, and that was the Memphis Grizzlies... and yeah, they lost. Last season, only one other team got those stats in a game all season, and it was the Dallas Mavericks... in a game which they also lost.
There’s an exception to that though, when you have two players like Anthony Davis and LeBron James on the same team, you basically have a shot to win any night:
LeBron and Davis combined for 59 of the 101 points. Here’s their stat lines for the win:
- James: 32 points (12-21 shooting), 13 rebounds, 7 assists, 3 blocks, 4 turnovers
- Davis: 27 points (11-23 shooting), 13 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 blocks, 5 turnovers
LeBron did a nice job of attacking the basket and either finishing it himself or finding the open player. He also hit four threes, three of which were some ridiculously long ones.
Meanwhile, Davis really utilized his face-up game. When he was in the triple-threat, he’d really utilize his handles as well as his footwork to get a good look at a shot. As you’ll see in the video above, there was a moment where he made a move that was so nasty, even Kostas Antetokounmpo was in disbelief on the bench. Davis also held opponents 5-13 from the field, while LeBron held opponents to 2-7 shooting.
Everyone on the team besides LeBron and Davis shot a combined 13-40 (32.5%) from the field. It’s totally normal for great teams to have shooting slumps like this, it’s just that like I said earlier, most teams end up losing those types of games. The presence of James and Davis gives the Lakers far bigger margin for error than most other teams, however, and their game against Atlanta showed that they not only exponentially raised the Lakers’ ceiling this year, but their floor as well.