The Los Angeles Lakers fell to their fourth straight defeat to open the season on October 26.
Speaking to the media following the game, LeBron James reiterated his belief that the Lakers’ lack of shooting is the biggest reason for the team’s incredibly poor start to the season.
“We’ve gotta make some shots…Defensively, besides tonight, especially in transition, I think we gave up 30 (points in transition) which is not good. But, overall, throughout the season so far, we’ve been third overall in defensive ratings, top ten in pretty much defensively. And, we’ve been bottom in everything offensively,” LeBron said.
Against the Denver Nuggets, the Lakers shot just 26.7% from deep, going eight-for-thirty throughout the contest – which was a third of their entire offensive approach, given that Los Angeles took 90 total shots from the field and made 40 of them. LeBron also struggled from deep during the loss, hitting just two of his eight attempts from deep, along with Lonnie Walker’s one-of-six shooting night from three.
If the Lakers are going to turn their slow start to the season around, they have to find some consistency with their perimeter shooting or change their game plan to limit the amount of offense they’re trying to generate from that area of the floor, because right now, whatever they’re doing isn’t working.
Patrick Beverley Remains Optimistic
In a tongue-in-cheek moment after the game, Patrick Beverley shared his reasoning on why he believes the Lakers have no reason to worry about their slow start, and why he feels their shooting is slowly improving.
“I think we were shooting 20% (from three) and today, we shot 26%, so we got better…It’s the game of basketball, everything’s gonna even out. Obviously, we’re not going to shoot a dub from the three all season, we shot 26%, and in my eyes, we got better,” Beverley said.
Unfortunately, 26% from deep is still an abysmal conversion rate, and if the Lakers are going to continue to commit such a large portion of their offense to the three-point line, they’re going to need to find shooting – either from their bench or via the free agency or trade market.
Executive Sounds Off on Lakers Duo
When you start a new season as poorly as the Lakers have, criticism isn’t far away. For Los Angeles, that criticism began following opening night, which is a byproduct of having all of your opening games on national television. However, some of the most stinging criticism thus far has come from a Western Conference Executive, who spoke with Heavy Sports’ insider, Sean Deveney.
“The thing that has them worried is it looks like they do not care…Even LeBron, even Anthony Davis, watching them during these games, I don’t see the buy-in. It’s a lot of frustration and head-shaking, hands on the hips, all of that. A week into the season. You saw that last year, too.
They were a miserable team and that has carried right over to this year. They’re not getting loose balls. They’re not contesting jumpers. The things you have to do every possession. Darvin Ham has not changed that. Patrick Beverley has not changed that. Only LeBron and AD, especially LeBron, can change that and they’re not doing it,” The executive said.
The Lakers will get another chance to finally enter the win column when they face off against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday, October 28. Yet, another loss would put the purple and gold at 0-and-5 and would provide a significant blow to an already fragile locker morale.