The Lakers have terrible outside shooting. That much is evident following L.A.’s 9-for-45 3-point shooting performance against the Clippers on Thursday night. The Lakers’ 10-for-40 mark from distance in their opening-night loss to the Golden State Warriors somehow managed to be worse than that total.
LeBron James, though, did not add to the refrain on Thursday even after the Lakers went 0-for-9 on 3-pointers in the fourth quarter. Instead, he candidly bemoaned his team’s lack of “lasers” on the roster following the Warriors game.
When questioned about his team’s increasing misses, James responded, “I’m obviously not going to sit here and stress on what we can’t accomplish every single game. “That’s not how you lead. What I am aware we can do? We are able to protect ourselves. We accomplished that tonight, which gave us a chance to win, but we were unable to take advantage of it. But I can live with it.
The Lakers limited the Clippers, who are among the favourites to win the NBA championship, to just 103 points and 80 total shots, and their on-ball pressure led to 22 mistakes for the Clippers.
James promised the media that Los Angeles’ shooting would get better but emphasised that the club would not rely on it as their winning recipe.
James stated, “We’re in trouble if we have to rely on [adequate outside shooting] in every game. “As a result, I don’t worry or consider that. It depends on how fervently we play, how aggressively we play, and how committed we are to going out every night and competing. We must also defend. We’ll give ourselves an excellent chance to prevail when we defend.
The Lakers wounded themselves in the foot by being so off, which was acknowledged by the entire squad, but they cannot avoid direct eye contact.
Anthony Davis, who was 2-for-4 from three while the rest of L.A.’s starters were 5-for-29, urged people not to let missed shots undermine their self-assurance. “Continue firing it; have faith in your shot. They will fall as well. Nothing can be done but to keep shooting.
In support of his conviction that these are the shots his team is supposed to take, coach Darvin Ham stated that the Lakers’ analytics department found that the club had more quality shot attempts based on their measurements than any of the other three teams who competed on opening night.
After the game, Ham was questioned about if the shots might be available as a result of rival defenders crowding the lane to prevent the Lakers from driving and daring them to shoot.
Ham responded, “I suppose you could say that. However, we simply need to take care of our business. That is the style of play we desire. We will gladly accept the vaccinations if they choose to administer them to us. That’s how we want to play, after all. We want to play freely, aggressively, and quickly. Once more, we witness these players making shots during shootaround and practise. They had to perform it on the playing field. That’s all there is to it.
Even though Lakers guard Russell Westbrook had a terrible shooting night on Thursday, finishing 0-for-11 overall (including 0-for-6 from three), James still stood up for him.
When asked whether he had any advise for Westbrook, James replied, “Just flush it down the toilet and get ready for Sunday.” He has experience. All of us have had awful shooting nights. I have experienced awful shooting nights. In this league, everyone has experienced poor shooting nights. Who cares? He played a tremendous game, in my opinion. He was skilled in his defence. He was confined. He quickened the pace. Simply put, he missed all of his shots, but that’s okay.
When asked to evaluate his performance, Westbrook, who finished with five steals, four assists, and only one turnover separate from the missed shots, also thought ahead to the upcoming game against the Portland Trail Blazers.
He described his night as “solid.” “Packed a punch. It’s all you can hope for. Go on to the following one.