After the Lakers missed 30 of their 40 3-point attempts in their season-opening defeat to the Warriors, LeBron James transformed into Captain Obvious and said the following: “To be absolutely honest, our team isn’t built on shooting well. It’s not like we have a lot of lasers on our team as we sit here.”
Take that as a jab at the front office for assembling such a weak roster, or just as a man stating the obvious. It’s an understatement in any case.
The Lakers have shot 25 for 118 from outside the arc in their first three games of the season (all losses, by the way). That represents a chilly 21.2% clip. That is the second-worst 3-point percentage in history for any team that has attempted at least 100 3-pointers over any three-game timeframe, according to ESPN Stats & Info.
If you were a hopeful Laker fan who believed that perhaps the sample size was too tiny, you were in for a disappointment. Reread those figures and give them some thought: Over a three-game span, a team has attempted at least 100 threes 6,100 times, 6,099 of them with a higher success % than the Lakers have so far this year.
The Lakers currently don’t have a single player with at least six 3-point attempts on the season and a success rate of better than 30%. LeBron James is the “best” among all players who have attempted at least 10 shots, scoring 25.9 percent of them (7 for 27). Kendrick Nunn follows with a 23 percent share, followed by Patrick Beverley with a 21 percent share, Anthony Davis with a 20 percent share, Lonnie Walker with a 17 percent share, and Russell Westbrook with an 8.3 percent share (1 for 12).
This is a dreadful situation. In exchange for trading for Westbrook, who is essentially useless in a LeBron-led offense, the Lakers’ general manager Rob Pelinka managed to secure a contract extension. He then made the mistake of doing nothing to address the inherent spacing issues that Westbrook causes by adding any additional secondary shooters.
The Lakers were a poor shooting team, and maybe Pelinka was the only one who didn’t know it. This awful, though? terrible historically? There is at least some optimism that the trend can turn around since there are only three games. However, raising the bar from the second-lowest point in history isn’t particularly noteworthy. If the Lakers don’t make a deal for some shooting, they’re in for a long season.