Of the many concerns with Anthony Davis and his game over the last two seasons, his struggles shooting the basketball ranked near the very top. After hitting just 26 of his 100 attempts in the 2020-21 season, his shot cratered even more in 2021-22 to 13 of 70 shooting for a combined 22.9% over the last two years.
One of the biggest positives, then, of Monday’s game against the Kings was not just how well AD played — scoring 11 points with 11 rebounds in 16 minutes — but how well his jumper looked. He knocked down two of his four attempts from range and, while it was very, very small sample size, it certainly looked like an improved jumper.
“I was just trying to get the wrist back to where it is so it included some of that,” Davis said. “That’s all it was. I never lost confidence in my shot. Just battling a little wrist injury. So once I got completely healthy and get back training, I kind of included that and get that formation back down. Get them reps and that muscle memory shooting the 3.”
Davis’ injury came in January, though it’s not like he was lighting the world ablaze before that shooting the ball. But the good news is he feels better now and, for one half of one game, looks better.
Ham also spoke about AD’s game after the contest on Monday and expects the big man to take and make more 3s this season.
“I want him to expand the game to behind the arc,” Ham said. “He’s already a great midrange player, can finish at the rim. The 3-ball I think is going to enhance his game even that much more. He’ll be a threat rolling to the rim and he’ll be effective popping, and that’s going to keep the defense on their heels.”
Again with small sample sizes but AD did take four three-pointers in the first half. In his career, Davis has never averaged more than 3.5 attempts per game, that coming in the title-winning 2019-20 season where he shot 33% from range.
This early in the season, it could mean nothing and be a one game aberration or it could also be the beginning of a new trend for AD and the Lakers.