The Los Angeles Lakers have gotten off to a solid start under new head coach Luke Walton. The squad is motivated and having fun out on the basketball court with the team winning two of the three games played in the preseason.
One of the main reasons for the team’s success thus far has been ball movement and players not hesitating taking shots. Walton has begun to implement an offense that resembles the Golden State Warriors, and after Sunday’s win over the Denver Nuggets he emphasized that he wants the shooters on the team to shoot when open from beyond the arc, via Mark Medina of the OC Register.
“The floor should be spaced with free-flowing ball movement going side-to-side. If you’re a shooter and you’re open, I want you to shoot it,” Walton said. “Whether they go in or not, a lot of times that’s out of our control as coaches. As long as you put the time and work in and it’s a shot within the rhythm of the offense and it’s not a forced 3-point shot, we’ll keep encouraging them to keep taking them.”
If last night’s game against the Nuggets is any indication, Walton’s message has been received. The Lakers shot the ball extremely well in the win over the Nuggets, hitting 53.1 percent from the floor and 50 percent from beyond the arc.
D’Angelo Russell and Lou Williams put on a show with the dynamic backcourt duo scoring 58 of the team’s 124 points on Sunday. Both starters were efficient with their shooting from three-point range (8-of-14 combined) and helped lead the team to nine-point victory at Citizens Bank Arena in Ontario.
Only five preseason games remain for the Lakers with the team now headed back to the Staples Center for Tuesday’s matchup with Damian Lillard’s Portland Trail Blazers. Following Tuesday’s game at home, the Lakers will go on the road to Las Vegas to face the Warriors at T-Mobile Arena twice in three nights.