The Los Angeles Lakers are 0-3 to start the new season as a byproduct of their struggling shooting performances. Players across the board can’t buy a shot even if they could, as the team has shot 40.7 percent from the field, which is dead last in the League.
To push the panic button right now is an over-exaggeration. Despite the endless drama centered around its players, Lakers superstar LeBron James believes there have been encouraging signs at one end of the floor that keeps them close games.
“For the first three games, it hasn’t,” James said regarding the team’s shooting, per Lakers Daily. “We still can’t shoot a penny in the ocean, but it hasn’t stopped us from competing and defending. That’s given us a chance in all three games to win.”
Dialed in pic.twitter.com/GaiApLt1C7
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) October 23, 2022
The Lakers rank at the top of the League in steals averaging 11.3 a game. It’s partly thanks to Patrick Beverley and Russell Westbrook, who is averaging over two steals a game. However, Anthony Davis’ third-best steals (2.7) and fourth-best blocks (2.3) around the League have given the Lakers a chance at victory in the new year.
James fully supports the defensive play thus far when opponents try to get easy buckets inside. However, the number of fouls given up, especially against the amount they gave up against the Portland Trailblazers, won’t rest easy with the four-time champion.
“I think it’s understanding that no one is on an island by themself,” said James. “When guys penetrate, we try to get multiple bodies in front of bodies, and if the ball is on the ground or it’s loose, we try to get good hands in there — when you’re defending at a high level like we are, we can’t allow teams to get easy buckets by going up there and not facing the defense with free throws.”
Transition Bron lookin’ scary pic.twitter.com/VOYJW2NzcK
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) October 21, 2022
According to James, the frustrating losses have been put in the past, but if the team looks to avoid missed back-to-back playoffs, they must turn defense into offense. Easy buckets off fast-break opportunities could do wonders for the aging group, and it’ll likely lower the habit of shooting 39 three attempts a game.
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