One aspect that wasn’t spectacular and hasn’t been all season is the Lakers three-point shooting.
Going 6-29 as a team, the Lakers couldn’t buy a bucket from beyond the arch. Key rotation players Rui Hachimura, Taurean Prince and Christian Wood went a combined 0-11 from three-point range.
At the rate it's going, Taurean Prince should have vowed to shoot 30% from 3 if he wanted an achievable goal— Jacob Rude (@JacobRude) November 20, 2023
“I think Taurean had a rough shooting night tonight,” Darvin Ham said postgame. “When he came off, I told him, ‘I’ve seen you hit those shots plenty of times. Keep shooting them.’ All of the guys, we’re getting good looks. We just have to trust our work, continue to trust our work.”
It’s hard to win games when such a key shot is an Achilles heel for a team. After Sunday’s win, L.A. is currently the fifth-worst three-point shooting team in the league making only 33.8% of those shots.
Even the Lakers' new five-out offense, designed to create more spacing and better shot selections, hasn’t helped matters. The Lakers attempted 1.8 more threes last season and shot 0.8% better. It's not a significant dip, but all offseason, the discussion was centered around more shots at a better clip, which hasn’t materialized 14 games in.
Even so, Ham is sure that this is the way.
“Those guys are going to hit those looks,” Ham said. “We wholeheartedly trust those guys to take those shots and I want them to continue to take them. Some nights, the ball just doesn’t go down for whatever reason…I’m comfortable with all the shots we got, the looks we got. Again, it’s early in the season, fourteen games in now. The pendulum will swing in our favor in terms of shot-making, for sure.”
Ham has said this before, soon, it will become just chatter. With 60-plus games left, there is plenty of time to improve in this area, but at this point, it’s “wholehearted trust” more than an assumption based on data.
Fans have been looking for the Lakers to join the modern NBA, shoot more threes and convert on them. Such a team hasn’t been assembled in Los Angeles yet and it’s hard to see this one being it.
In the numbers that matter most—the win-column L.A. has done more of that than losing, for now, fans will have to take solace in that and look away from all three-point statistics.
You can follow Edwin on Twitter at @ECreates88.