The Los Angeles Lakers have their full roster for the remainder of the 2020-21 season after they signed Ben McLemore, who was waived by the Houston Rockets.
One thing McLemore gives the Lakers is a much-needed boost in the 3-point shooting department. Without LeBron James and Anthony Davis, Los Angeles will need to hit more from beyond the arc and McLemore should be able to come in and do just that.
Head coach Frank Vogel is familiar with McLemore after the Lakers and Rockets’ second-round matchup in the 2020 NBA Playoffs. Vogel noted that the shooting guard was someone L.A. had to keep track of when he was on the floor.
“We had to know where he was at all times in that Houston [Rockets] series because he’s such an elite shooter,” Vogel explained. “Like I said, we’re trying to win a championship here, so as much firepower as we can get as many weapons as we can get we’re going to try to get.
“Ben instantly elevates our ability to knock down threes on the backside when double teams come and play the drive-and-kick game in the modern NBA is made on. We’re thrilled about his addition and looking forward to getting him into some minutes and into our program.”
McLemore acknowledged he and Vogel spoke about his role in Houston before he signed. “Yeah, I definitely had that conversation with Coach about that series,” McLemore said. “He just told me how much of a threat and obviously didn’t want me to get any shots and things like that. Then he knew I could come on this Lakers team and bring a spark off the bench with my shooting ability as well, so obviously, that was a big reason, a big part of my decision. Like I said, having a great opportunity here.”
During last season’s playoff matchup, McLemore’s floor spacing helped open the floor up for James Harden and Russell Westbrook. The shooter hit 6-of-16 of his 3-point attempts in the series, good for 37.5%.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Wesley Matthews have picked up their 3-point shooting in recent weeks, but McLemore is a solid insurance option in the event the two guards are struggling from the field.
McLemore gets hot against Nets
McLemore made his Purple and Gold debut in their loss to the Miami Heat and had a subpar night, scoring 6 points on 1-of-4 shooting and missing all three of his outside attempts.
However, he turned it around in his second game, getting hot in the fourth quarter to help lead a blowout win over the Brooklyn Nets. He made five 3-pointers, which is exactly what the Lakers brought him in to do.
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