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Jemerrio Jones and Josh Hart may be evidence that the Lakers don’t need a shooting coach: They need a high-five consultant

A lot of people have clamored for the Lakers to get a shooting coach, but Jemerrio Jones and Josh Hart struggling to complete high-fives this season (for very different reasons) might indicate the team should move back to basics.

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NBA: Utah Jazz at Los Angeles Lakers Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Lakers signed Jemerrio Jones to a two-year deal on March 31, and in the team’s final four games, he averaged 12.0 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.5 steals, and 1.3 blocks per game. That included a game against the Jazz in which he became the first Laker with 16+ rebounds in their first career start since that stat started being tracked in the 70’s.

Lakers fans absolutely loved the hard work that Jones put in in those final games of the season (unless they were rooting for the tank, then they probably hated it). Every second Jones is on the basketball court, he plays with a ton of energy and heart on both ends of the court.

Oh, and speaking of heart, Josh Hart had surgery on his right knee just two days before the Lakers signed Jemerrio. The Lakers needed a player who could replace Hart for those final games, and they definitely found the right person, because Hart and Jones both have some similarities. They both work incredibly hard on the defensive end, they both can defend multiple positions, and they both are listed at 6’5.

Interestingly enough, they also seem to have a similar problem: They both get rejected when they offer high-fives. Let’s take a closer look at how their strategies differ:

Now, did the Lakers have this in mind when they signed Jones? I don’t know. The situations in which Jones gets his high-fives rejected is completely different from where Hart falters, though. Hart has trouble high-fiving his own teammates, whereas Jemerrio has trouble high-fiving his opponents.

Yes, you did read that right. Laker Film Room did a video breakdown on Hart’s high-five issues for us earlier this year. In the video, he said Hart only completed 28.1% of his high-fives (he was obviously being sarcastic, there’s no chance someone tracks that). Well, no one but me at least, because before I realized he was joking, this gave me the brilliant idea to track Jemerrio’s high-five attempts and see if his success rate is higher or lower than Hart’s 28.1%.

I had plenty of time to do this research since, you know, the Lakers don’t have games anymore, unfortunately. Regardless of who ended up having a higher percentage in the video above, there’s one thing that’s become clear throughout my exhaustive research: The Lakers don’t only need to invest in a shooting coach, but a high-five coach as well.

Make it happen Rob.

(Editor’s Note: This is Ali’s first post for us, so please give him a warm welcome and follow him on Twitter at @ali_behpoornia or @SBLakerFilmRoom)

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