Anthony Davis: Lakers Have To ‘Just Keep Shooting’ Amid 3-Point Struggles
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

For the 2021-22 season, the Los Angeles Lakers are a middling team from behind the 3-point line, ranking 14th in 3-point percentage. However, over their last 10 games, that ranking is down to 24th, shooting just 32.7% from beyond the arc in those contests.

Anthony Davis has been among the biggest reasons for the team’s struggles, as he is having a horrible year from distance. He is shooting just 18.8% from the three, nearly 12 percentage points below his career average. Talen Horton-Tucker and LeBron James are among those who have been struggling in recent games as well.

However, Davis doesn’t see this as a long-term issue, saying that the team just has to maintain their confidence from beyond the arc so that teams continue to defend them from that range. “We had some good looks early on, a lot of guys had some great looks. Even down the stretch, we had some good looks and we made a couple tough ones. But that’s what they’ve been trying to take away, the three, and obviously we’re just taking what the defense gives us.

“But we had some good looks from three tonight, they just didn’t fall. LeBron usually shoots better, LeBron was 2-for-8. He’s better than that,” Davis said of his star teammate. “I was 0-for-2, I’ve been struggling all year, THT was 0-for-4. Nothing we can do except keep shooting.

“We’ll take the looks that we got, great looks. That’s all we do, must try to continue to take great shots, get in the paint and kick it out to the shooters and just keep shooting the ball with confidence. It’ll turn from three for us when we get hot. But we just got to continue to shoot the ball with confidence and don’t get down on ourselves.”

Confidence from 3-point range — or a lack thereof — was the defining issue of last year’s Lakers team. By the time they had gotten to the playoffs, their 3-point shooting was so poor, the Phoenix Suns simply chose not to defend them outside of 20 feet from the basket.

That plan worked to perfection because the Lakers had zero faith in their ability to make shots, and that is not a path this year’s team can go down. They simply don’t have the defensive chops to survive long-scoring droughts like last season.

Davis and the Lakers have to continue shooting until the shots start falling in again the way they were in the opening weeks of the season.

Davis wants more time for Horton-Tucker to gain rhythm

Horton-Tucker has been struggling immensely since a great three-game stretch to start his season. However, Davis asked for more time as Horton-Tucker works his way through it. “Talen, he’s struggling a little bit right now, but he’s gonna find his way,” Davis said after the loss to the Clippers. “He’s still doing things that help that don’t come up on the stat sheet.

“He had the matchup tonight guarding Paul George some of the possessions and he’s gonna have to be able to do the little things until he’s able to find a rhythm on the offensive end and that will come with time.”

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