The Los Angeles Lakers started extremely poorly but now with Anthony Davis’ heroics, they have come back in the playoffs as many people believe that the Lakers offense is rolling once again. The Lakers big man has turned up big time and has dropped some mammoth performances in the last spell of games that they simply have left a mark on their overall offense.
However former NBA player and analyst JJ Redick shared different thoughts which are very contrary to public opinion on his podcast “Old Man & The Three”. He highlighted how a team will suffer when it enters the playoffs without proper spacing and shooting.
“When we get down to the playoffs without proper spacing, without enough shooting, they’re gonna have problems scoring in the halfcourt. … It’s very hard to have a good offense if you don’t have shooting,” JJ Redick stated.
The former New Orleans Pelicans man shared how LeBron James’ previous teams like Cleveland Cavaliers and the Miami Heat were built around the superstar expertly as there were plenty of shooters who used to compliment the Akron Hammer and in return the system was very flowy and hence they won NBA titles. SImilarly Redick pointed out how the Lakers also had that and it bore fruit with one NBA title. But then for some reason they have completely ditched a winning formula for the last two seasons and the result is in front of us.
“The Miami Heat teams and the Cleveland Cavaliers teams were built to optimize LeBron by surrounding him with shooting, and the Lakers did that initially. They won a championship, and then the last two seasons they’ve completely gone away from that,” Redick explained.
However he also believes that if Anthony Davis continues to raise mayhem like he has done in the last few games for the Lakers then he brings lack of shooting out of the equation. “If Anthony Davis is playing like a top five player, if he’s playing at this level, maybe that lack of shooting does not matter. But I think there’s a corresponding thing here with them shooting the s**t out of the ball and Anthony Davis hooping.”
The Lakers in the last 10 games are the fourth best offensive team and ninth in terms of 3 point shooting (37.1%). However if we consider the entire season they are still in 22nd and 25th in these two categories respectively.
Only two players who are playing more than 15 minutes every game and have more than 37% 3 point shooting accuracy. The first one is Lonnie Walker IV who has been 39% whereas the second one is youngster Austin Reaves who is striking 38.7% from beyond the arc.
While Davis has been very dominant in the last 10 games, they also have done well from beyond the arc. So now opponents can’t smirk at them and leave them wide open from threes anymore. The extra attention that the opponents have given to their sharp shooters have helped Anthony Davis’ inside spacing. He has had more room than normal and it has paid dividends with his mind blowing performances.