After dropping their third consecutive game in the bubble, LeBron James, Anthony Davis, JR Smith, and Quinn Cook went to the gym to get extra work in.
The Los Angeles Lakers as a team have shot extremely poorly since the seeding games began and currently own the worst offensive rating in Orlando, a far cry from their performance prior to the hiatus when they were a top-5 team.
After starting out strong with a win over the L.A. Clippers, the Lakers have since lost four games and currently are on a three-game losing streak. The half-court offense has been abysmal and has started out ice cold every night.
In the loss to the Indiana Pacers, Los Angeles struggled to get anything going from the perimeter which allowed the Pacers to clog the paint and muck up the driving lanes. In an effort to remedy their shooting woes, several players — most notably LeBron James and Anthony Davis — got extra shots up after the game.
Looks like LeBron, AD, JR and Cook got some work in after tonight’s loss. pic.twitter.com/1xSG5uFdJl
— Lakers Nation (@LakersNation) August 9, 2020
While James and Quinn Cook had excellent shooting outings, Davis was dreadful from the field, shooting an underwhelming 3-for-14. Davis, though, made no excuses about his performance but still remained confident in himself.
“I obviously have to be better. I had some good looks, just missed shots around the rim, a layup, open threes, midrange. Shots were just not going in,” he said. “I’m still confident in my game and on the offensive end. At the same time, when the double-team is coming, I’m trying to make the right reads. Sometimes that read might be go to the basket, shoot over two, or kick out.
“I definitely have to be better, and I will be. I just have to get back into rhythm and keep working.”
Individually, Davis should be fine once the postseason begins and he even believes that the team has taken steps in the right direction. It can be frustrating to watch such a talented team go through this rough stretch, but it is better that it happens now rather than in the playoffs.
LeBron emphasizes spacing when teams double Davis
The Lakers are fortunate to have two superstars in James and Davis who can take turns dominating the game, but so far opponents have managed to slow down the latter by throwing double-teams.
The Toronto Raptors used the strategy to great effect as they doubled Davis on the catch every time he received the ball, forcing him to get rid of the ball.
While it has slowed down the Lakers offense considerably, James thinks Los Angeles has the means to take advantage of the defense when they load up on his running mate. “It’s all about spacing,” he said.
“It’s actually a luxury for our team when A.D. gets doubled, because you have 4-on-3 on the backside. But we have to have great spacing to put ourselves in position to be successful. There’s going to be somebody open.
“There’s times when we’re great with our spacing, there’s times when we’re not as great. We have to be able to give A.D. an outlet, because there’s two on the ball, so we definitely have a numbers game on the weak side. We just have to make ourselves available.”
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