Darvin Ham: Taurean Prince & Lakers Must Continue To Trust Their Work With 3-Point Shooting
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers barely escaped the Houston Rockets with a one-point victory on Sunday night. And although the win signaled the Lakers’ fifth win in six games, there remains a glaring weakness in the team’s offensive attack. Anchored by an 0-for-4 night from Taurean Prince and 1-for-5 from both Cam Reddish and D’Angelo Russell, the Lakers went 6-for-29 from beyond the arc.

It was another in a long line of poor shooting performances for the Lakers in the early part of the 2023-24 season. At 33.8% team-wide, the Lakers rank 26th out of 30 in 3-point shooting. This actually represents a tick up from where they were earlier when they had a historically bad stretch of shooting in their first eight games.

Lakers head coach Darvin Ham recognized the clear slump that Prince and other Lakers are going through, and reiterated a lesson that was said to Prince but could be applied to the entire team.

“I think Taurean had a rough shooting night tonight. When he came off, I told him, ‘I’ve seen you hit those shots plenty of times, keep shooting them.’ All of the guys, we’re getting good looks. We just have to trust our work, continue to trust our work.”

Ham continued to emphasize shooting the ball and not being afraid of the ongoing slump affecting seemingly the entire roster.

“Those guys are going to hit those looks. We wholeheartedly trust those guys to take those shots and I want them to continue to take them. Some nights, the ball just doesn’t go down for whatever reason…I’m comfortable with all the shots we got, the looks we got. Again, it’s early in the season, 14 games in now. The pendulum will swing in our favor in terms of shotmaking, for sure.”

The Lakers have managed an 8-6 record despite their inefficiency from beyond the arc, meaning their ceiling could be raised significantly if the shooting becomes what it was projected to be when the roster was built.

LeBron James discusses his personal efficiency

One Laker who has not had problems scoring at an efficient clip is superstar LeBron James. He spoke about what he attributes that early success to.

“I have been able to be on the court a lot more during off days this year because of past injuries the last couple years with my foot or whatever the case may be,” James told ESPN. “So to be able to hone in on everything that I need to do instead of having to get off my foot, unless we’re playing games has allowed me to stay in rhythm.

“I got my bounce back, my spring back, my quick twitch back and things of that nature.”

Even though James is on the verge of turning 39, it’s clear that he still has a lot left in the tank and can continued to play at an extremely high level as long as he is healthy.

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