Patrick Beverley is surprisingly upbeat about the Lakers’ fouling state after Wednesday’s 110-99 loss to the Denver Nuggets. “Well, I think we shot 20%, and today we shot 26%,” Beverley told reporters. “So we got better.” Technically, he was right. The Lakers shot 8 out of 30 from the depth into the Nuggets grid with a 26.7% conversion rate. Surprisingly, it was the best shooting night of the season for the Lakers, the team never exceeding 25% from long range in their first three games.
If you’re expecting more stats of the “worst” category, here’s a much more remarkable one: The Lakers are scoring 22.3% from 3 points in their first four games, here was the worst of four one-team games. lasted for a single season in NBA history, Another point worth noting: LeBron James is down 0-4 for the first time since his rookie season. This team ranked 25th in the NBA on a 3-point rate and still lags them with a rate of 32.7% … 10 percentage points ahead of the Lakers.
In the end, Russell Westbrook’s absence helped to correct little of what is now very clearly a foul. The struggling former player-turned-MVP missed Wednesday’s game with a hamstring injury he picked up initially in pre-season. His replacement, Austin Reaves, actually shot 2 out of 3 for him. But eliminating a bad shooter doesn’t suddenly fill the list with good people. The most consistent player on the bench, Matt Ryan, has two out of three runs in eight minutes. Unnamed shooters Reaves and Ryan won 4 out of 24.
This is hardly a surprise given the composition of this list. No Lakers player has come into this season with a career-high three-point streak higher than Patrick Beverley’s 37.8%. To come up with that number, Beverley played for the Clippers 2020-21 two seasons ago. This team has 12 players who hit that 3-point ratio in at least 10 attempts. Kendrick Nunn placed second among the team’s career 3-pointers at the start of the season, but has only made four of 17 attempts this season.
However, it seems that no change is imminent. “Teams don’t really take contracts seriously and can skip trying to be a playoff team or try to enter the lottery for a year with Victor Wembanyama. They won’t do it until 20. or 30 games into the season,” Wojnarowski said. “So all the deals that the Lakers didn’t think would give them enough value to trade those options, they’re all still there. Utah, Indiana, whom the Lakers talked to a lot during the day. season, I said they had “No news from the Lakers this season.”
You would think the eventual retracement would bring relief simply because no team is likely to miss that many hits forever. The worst 3-pointer team last season was the Oklahoma City Thunder, which made 32.3% of the shots. But due to the players this team is using, none of the 2022-23 Lakers have an average, let alone good shot.
The longer the Lakers wait, the less impact such a move will have. Buddy Hield and Myles Turner will put the shots they need into this lineup, but the Lakers have shown no urgency to fix their shooting problems after four losses. If more losses don’t wake that HQ, Beverley likely won’t celebrate another hit in the shooting division for quite some time.
- With fourth loss in a row, the Lakers show that their shooting problems go far beyond Russell Westbrook
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