It didn’t take long for Ben McLemore to get settled in with his new team. Following a forgettable debut for the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday, McLemore caught fire against the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday night, scoring 17 points on 6-12 shooting from the field and 5-10 shooting from behind the arc.
Saturday marked his fourth game of the season with at least 10 3-point attempts, which is more games than any of the Lakers’ guards have had this season and only one less game than LeBron James has. Suffice to say, McLemore has no problem letting it fly and apparently his new teammates have no problem letting him.
“I obviously didn’t shoot it well in the first half but all I kept hearing was ‘keep shooting, keep shooting,’ and obviously that’s what I’ve got to continue to do, and I did,” McLemore said on Saturday. “I hit a few in a row, got us going and obviously got the big win tonight.”
McLemore told his teammates that all he needed was to see one of his shots fall to get going, and for the most part, that was true. After missing his first four 3-point attempts, McLemore made five consecutive 3-pointers. He only missed two of his seven 3-point attempts in the second half.
“Once I see one go in, it’s a wrap from there,” McLemore said. “Then I start making a few more and then I start rolling. It don’t take much for me to get hot, especially when I see one go in that was sweet. Then I’ve got guys that are backing me up, continuing to build my confidence within myself to go out there and continue to shoot.”
He will be heard LOUD & CLEAR!! B Mac Daddy Young Strappy, No he ain’t the OG gangsta, yes he is! https://t.co/OTc0OWUQGH— LeBron James (@KingJames) April 11, 2021
In addition to the encouragement he’s gotten from his teammates, Frank Vogel has told him to shoot the 3-ball with confidence, a message he’s tried to relay to the team while LeBron James and Anthony Davis have been out.
“I think Ben is a quick learner,” Vogel said. “He’s a great shooter and he’s hearing ‘Hey, these are the shots you want me to take? Okay. I will definitely shoot those.’ What impressed me about Ben’s night the most is some of the bad pass threes he made (laughs). He made a three where he had to jump just to catch it and rose up — that’s a hard shot — and then he made another three where he had to reach down to his shoelaces and rise up, and he made that one.
“He’s here for a reason, we’re excited to have him and what a great night for him tonight.”
The odds of McLemore shooting 5-10 from 3-point range every night is low, but with the amount of confidence he, his teammates and his coach have in his shooting ability, it’s safe to assume he’ll have more chances to have nights like Saturday.