The way the modern NBA is headed, teams are putting a much bigger emphasis on shooting three-pointers as teams like the Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets have found a lot of success doing it.
While Los Angeles Lakers head coach Luke Walton, a former assistant in Golden State, would love to model the Lakers offense off of Golden State’s, he simply does not have the personnel to do it.
The Lakers have struggled to shoot the ball so far this season, making just 27.8 percent of their threes, which ranks 29th out of 30 teams. Part of that is because they lost their three best shooters from last season, but part of it also is just because guys with track records of being good shooters aren’t making shots right now.
That was evident in Saturday night’s 96-81 loss to the Utah Jazz, as the Lakers made just five of their 22 threes.
After the game, head coach Luke Walton commented on the shooting struggles, saying he wants his team to focus on attacking the paint, via Tania Ganguli of the L.A. Times:
“One of our big things going into every game is trying to attack the paint,” Walton said. “… I know the modern NBA is everyone shoots 40 threes a game, but that’s not what we’re trying to do. If we’re open and it’s a rhythm pass and we’ve got some ball movement side to side, inside out. Love it. You catch it in rhythm, let it fly. But we don’t want to just come down and jack up threes all game. That’s not our strength.”
With Lonzo Ball running the offense at point guard, it would be ideal if the Lakers had some shooters to surround him with, but until guys start hitting shots it makes sense that Walton wants them to operate from the paint, where they lead the league in 54.0 points per game.