For a brief moment, the Lakers looked like a competent 3-point shooting team on Sunday afternoon. An absolute BARRAGE of 3-pointers in the third quarter — five to be in fact — had the Lakers dreaming of becoming a reincarnated version of the 2016-17 Golden State Warriors.
However, that was nothing more than a mirage as the Lakers shot 1-20 in the three other quarters against the Blazers, a key factor in their loss. The Lakers have been bad in their first three games of the season from range. Like historically bad.
After the game, ESPN Stats & Info shared the following stat that really put into context just had bad this stretch has been.
The Lakers are 25-118 from 3-point range through 3 games this season.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) October 23, 2022
In NBA history, there have been over 6,100 instances of a team taking at least 100 threes over a 3-game span.
Their 21.2% is the second-lowest of any of them, only ahead of a span from the 2018 Hawks (21.0%). pic.twitter.com/rYOqTRmWYB
Just taking a look at the Lakers’ individual shooting percentages shows how bleak of a picture it is. Technically, Matt Ryan is the leading 3-point shooter at 40%, though he’s only taken five total 3-pointers and didn’t feature in Sunday’s game.
After him, it’s a steep drop to the team’s best shooter on decent volume at Austin Reaves, who is shooting...28.6%. LeBron James has taken by far the most attempts at nine per game and is shooting the second best at a sizzling 25.9%.
Kendrick Nunn, Patrick Beverley, Anthony Davis and Lonnie Walker IV are averaging over three attempts per game and are shooting 23.1%, 21.4%, 20% and 17.6%, respectively. And then there’s Russell Westbrook, who is shooting 8.3% on 12 attempts (for those bad at math, that’s one make).
The Lakers aren’t going to be this bad at 3-point shooting this season. According to Cleaning the Glass, the Lakers’ location effective field goal percentage — essentially an approximation of what a team would shoot based on their shot profile — is fourth-best in the league at 54.8%. The problem is, the Lakers rank dead last in actual effective field goal percentage so far.
Where they rank ultimately is uncertain as they aren’t going to be a good 3-point shooting team this season. Even average shooting from team could be enough to make them competitive on most nights. But given their start, that could be an unreasonable ask.
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