Thanks for the comment. I totally agree with you that Lonzo has to improve his 3-point shooting, even though I believe his ability to absorb contact and finish at the rim will make him a smaller, but more versatile version of Ben Simmons. (Another subject that requires a deep dive.)
My focus in this article was to make a sarcastic on the worries about the Lakers’ 3-point shooting. I intend to write about their 3-point shooting after the season begins.
But here’s a quick overview.
- Look at who is no longer with the team: Lopez (.327), Thomas (.327), Clarkson (.324), Nance (.250), Randle (.222), and Brewer (.186). That’s a lot of the reason the Lakers were the worst 3-point shooting team for most of the season.
- The Lakers best 3-point shooter is not LeBron. He’s only their fourth best shooter, based on last season: Hart (.396), Ingram (.390), KCP (.383), LeBron (.370), and Kuzma (.366).
- After those shaky first 20 games, Lonzo finished the season shooting .333 from beyond the arc. The other thing that people don’t realize is that his best shooting games of the season came against Golden State, Portland and San Antonio, when he made a number of clutch shots. My argument here is that he rose to the challenge of high pressure games, so I don’t think there’s a good possibility that he will improve and not be affected by the pressure of fighting for the playoffs.
- Look at who they brought in: Rondo (.333, but over 35% the three seasons before), Beasley (.395), and Stephenson (.289, a disaster, I admit, and the only signing I really hated). My hope is that Stephenson gets minimal playing time. They also have two rookies that are excellent 3-point shooters.
With five core players and one reserve shooting .366 or better, and one core player and two reserves shooting .333 or worse, the Lakers look to be more in the range of league average (.360) in 3-point shooting next season.
That 1.5% improvement on 30 shots per game translates to an extra 1.35 points per game from beyond the arc. Combine that with the improvements in transition, assists and turnovers, and it looks even more promising for the Lakers.