This season, the Los Angeles Lakers have been making a concerted effort to attack the rim and avoid shots from beyond the three-point arc. It’s something of a surprising strategy given the modern games’ reliance on deep shots, with uber-successful teams like the Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets launching a barrage of triples.
Meanwhile, the Lakers find themselves ranking 27th in the league in three-pointers attempted, which is a bit strange considering the player they would like to be their franchise point guard, Lonzo Ball, thrives when he is surrounded by players who can space the floor and make teams pay for leaving them open.
Despite this, head coach Luke Walton recently told Lakers.com that he is going to ask the team to shoot even less threes than they already do:
After shooting just 7-of-25 on triples in Friday’s loss to Phoenix, Walton said that the team will have “every guy scale it back till we start making some more (3’s).”
While Walton’s comments may raise some eyebrows, there is indeed a reason for the decision: as of this writing, the Lakers are dead last in three-point percentage, connecting on just 28.7 percent of their attempts. The next closest team, the Memphis Grizzlies, shoots 33 percent, which means that Los Angeles currently isn’t anywhere close to moving up in the rankings.
While the NBA is currently hyper-focused on scoring efficiently, which usually means lots of layups and three-point attempts, the equation strategy simply doesn’t work for the current iteration of the Lakers. Getting lots of threes can be a good thing, but the value of those shots dips considerably if the team can’t make them at a high level.
Instead, the Lakers will attempt to play to their strengths, which currently is attacking the basket. They rank first in the NBA in points in the paint, and despite opponent’s efforts to pack in the defense, it appears that Walton and the coaching staff will attempt to make the Lakers even more determined to attack the rim on every possession.
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