Lakers News: Wesley Matthews Gets ‘Activated’ Offensively Through Defense
Wesley Matthews, Lakers
Adam Pantozzi-NBAE

Wesley Matthews had a particularly rough start with the Los Angeles Lakers as he missed his first eight attempts from deep. However, Matthews’ shooting beyond the arc has trended upward in the past week and he is now shooting 41% from three on nearly 3.5 attempts a game.

While the improved 3-point shooting is a welcomed sight, Matthews has been a steady contributor on the defensive end as he is often seen picking up the opposing team’s best perimeter player. The veteran acknowledged after the Lakers’ recent win against the Chicago Bulls that his shooting percentages will fluctuate but it is the defensive end he wants to focus on.

“It’s just law of averages,” Matthew said. “I wasn’t too worried about it. I was 0-for-8 but I think I had one shot in the first quarter, one shot in the third quarter in one game. Another game, it was maybe two shots in the first quarter, maybe a shot in the second. It was sporadic, so I’m not going to get hung up on that.

“I forgot at what point in my career — I wish I remember who exactly said it — but they kind of broke it down to a sample size for me. They were like, look at it over a five-game stretch. You can’t get too high or too low on one game. Went 0-for-8, went 6-for-6, five-game streak, law of averages, 6-of-14.

“You live with that and just continue to build. But like I said, it’s the defensive end for me. I just want to continue to get better on the defensive end, just understanding the way that we play and impact that with offense as well.”

Matthews was brought in to fill the 3-and-D role that Danny Green occupied last season, and so far he has arguably been an upgrade. While he is still clearly acclimating to the scheme on both ends, Matthews has demonstrated how useful he can be on any given night and should be a key piece of the rotation going forward.

The veteran wing recently said he was thankful for his teammates’ encouragement through the early-season struggles.

Matthews on playing next to LeBron James

Playing next to LeBron James can be an adjustment for some, but Matthews already looks comfortable when the two share the floor. “Get ready,” Matthews said he’s learned.

“He can see the court better than anybody, so always have your hands ready. Be shot ready, space the court out. He’s going to do most of the work for you. All you’ve got to do is step in.”

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