NBA’s best 3-point sh.ooters have frequently struggled against the LA Lakers. And here’s the reason why!

For a team with championship aspirations, LA lacks one of the key w.e.a.p.o.n.s that is a staple in top teams from both conferences.

The LA Lakers’ 3-point shooting is an issue. It has been their Achilles heel for a few seasons now, and no matter how big a name they drag in to provide from beyond the arc, the squad has constantly and repeatedly been at the near bottom when it comes to downtown shooting %. This 2023-24 NBA season is no different as the Lakers rank 22nd in the league on that front. For a club with championship aspirations, LA lacks one of the essential weapons that is a staple in elite teams from both conferences.

LeBron James (40.9%) leads the Lakers in their 3-point percentage. The 4x NBA champion is 70-of-171 this season. Anthony Davis has only landed 12-of-31 attempts. The team’s designated 3-point sniper Taurean Prince is the only other player with 40.1% while Austin Reaves is 35.7% and D’Angelo Russell is 38.8% shooting at a great clip. Emphasis on the term decent though, as these percentages pale in comparison to how the the top three teams’ shooting has been from the perimeter.

A recent discussion on Reddit saw fans come up with several hypotheses as to why some of the league’s finest 3-point shooters have failed since making their way to the Purple and Gold. Here are five of those elements that supporters believe have played a role in the unit’s uneven and unpredictable 3-point shooting.

Here are five reasons why some of the top 3-point shooters in the NBA have struggled since joining the Lakers.

1. Dependence on LeBron James too much

James, who is 39 years old, has shown that he is a formidable player who can lead the team from beyond the arc. He is playing at a high level, scoring 25.4 points (53.5% from the field, 40.9% from 3-point range, and 74.9% from the free-throw line) while playing nearly 35 minutes every game.

This demonstrates the team’s over-reliance on an experienced veteran, which again puts undue pressure on a player who is surrounded by the most versatile players.

2. Additional searches for Anthony Davis and LeBron James

Planning plays that revolve around their two best players, LeBron James and Anthony Davis, may be one of the reasons the Lakers are a 3-point shooting machine.

After that, the remaining offensive players will assess wide-open looks and try their shots. This was, of course, one of the ideas, but the team needs to figure out a method to obtain further support from James and Davis, who are the squad’s main players.

3. Increased vigilance and lofty standards

There are very high standards while playing for a team like the Lakers. That would put a great deal of strain on each shot that was made. One may draw a comparison to Steve Kerr’s explanation in “The Last Dance” of how a role player such as himself was overburdened by the strain of every shot that held far too much significance.

The intense scrutiny these athletes endure could therefore chip away at their confidence and mojo with each shot that clanks off the basket. Players that have missed shots over the years include Wayne Ellington, Danny Green, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.

4. Darvin Ham

Since Darvin Ham has always prioritized defense over offense, people pay attention to him when the Lakers’ problems with 3-point shooting arise. Russell and Malik Beasley (who is currently with the Milwaukee Bucks and has established himself as their legitimate downtown threat) gave the team more depth in that area prior to the deadline last season.

But because the club has prioritized defense, Russell’s playing time has decreased, giving them fewer options. Although this is up for debate, it is one of the factors that the coach is being held more responsible for resolving the problem.

5. The Crypto.com Arena’s lights

One of the main topics of conversation over the past few seasons, according to a Silverscreen and Roll story, has been the lighting at the Crypto.com Arena.

For a more dramatic effect, the team’s “Lights Out” campaign dims all of the lights outside of the court. However, this has shown to be damaging to the players’ eyesight and depth.

 

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