Since Mike D’Antoni has taken over the Los Angeles Lakers, one noticeable trend is that the Lakers have taken a lot more three-three pointers. I am all for an open offensive system and high scoring games, but the team needs to have the players to do so.
The Lakers have a huge strength on offense and it is not three-point shooting. When tuning into the Lakers one has to wonder if they are going to be a team that lives and dies by the three point shot.
While coaching the Phoenix Suns, D’Antoni was known for having his teams for shooting a lot of three’s especially in transition. The biggest part of the equation a lot of people don’t remember is that those Suns teams had really good shooters on the squad. This Lakers team doesn’t have those types of shooters to make the offense as lethal.
Over the offseason the Lakers did bring in Steve Nash, Jodie Meeks and Antwan Jamison-all players who are known for being able to hit the three point shot-but two out of those three don’t start and Nash has been hurt most of the season.
One of the biggest problems this new system brings is that when a player is open they shoot it regardless if they are a good shooter or not. For instance, Metta World Peace, who is shooting more than six three-point attempts per game and is making 37% of them.
This new system allows a lot more offensive freedom than any other system in the league but that can become a problem. When teams become over reliant on the three point shot they can get away from running their offense and not getting key guys involved.
Also when teams miss three-pointers those are usually fast break starters for the opposition and considering the Lakers problems with transition defense this can be a problem.
While evaluating the Lakers, it would be in their best interest to play inside out and get the open three’s off of kick outs and ball rotations. If the Lakers can pass the ball well and find open shooters or guys in rhythm they will increase their chances of hitting those shots.
When Nash gets back he will help with that but the old saying goes “if you live by the three, you are going to die by the three” and we will see how it affects the Lakers as the season progresses.