In the eight years Anthony Davis has been in the NBA, there’s been one part of his game that fans and coaches like have been waiting for him to expand: his 3-point shooting. Davis has shown flashes of being a capable 3-point shooter throughout his career, but the volume in which he’s taken them has been inconsequential for the most part.
That obviously hasn’t stopped Davis from being a valuable contributor for the Los Angeles Lakers. Just last season, Davis averaged 26.1 points per game on 50.3% shooting from the field in the regular season, and 27.7 points per game on 57.1% shooting from the field in the postseason.
However, Davis knows how valuable the 3-point shot can be for his game, and he wants to make a conscious effort to take more this season, which is something that Frank Vogel has been nudging him towards since the preseason.
“I’m very comfortable,” Davis said. “I work on it all the time with Mike (Penberthy). Just constantly putting up reps, and then in the game just letting it fly, just being comfortable with everything I do in drills and applying it to the game. Coach wants me to shoot at least five (threes) per game this year, and I have a lot of good looks that sometimes I pass up for a better shot, but I’ve just got to shoot.
“Every time I shoot a high volume, I shoot pretty well from the field, so I can’t let missing one or two affect my shot process for shooting them, so I’ve just got to continue to shoot them, knowing that it helps the team open the floor for guys like ‘Bron and Dennis.”
So far, Davis has only had two games where he’s attempted at least five 3-pointers, but in those two games, he’s had at least three makes. For the season, Davis is averaging 2.8 3-point attempts, per game, which is less than last season, but more than he attempted in any season before that. He’s also making them at a 41.2% clip.
Again, Davis doesn’t need to a 3-point shot to be impactful, but he wants to improve so that he can be a more complete player, and Frank Vogel admires that about him.
“Player development applies to all players on the team, not just the young players,” Vogel said on Wednesday, after Davis went 4-of-6 from 3 against the San Antonio Spurs. “We want guys to grow their games. And he took a big step I thought from two years ago into last year with his 3-point shooting, and we are asking him to take another big step with regard to this year.
“Without those four 3’s, maybe we don’t win tonight. So kudos to him for continuing to grow.”