The question initially prompted Lakers Byron Scott both to lower his eyebrows and unleash a hearty laugh.
How did Scott work out of his way of shooting slumps during his 14-year career?
“What?! What was my percentage of my career?” Scott playfully teased, mindful that he shot a career 48.2 percent from the field. Scott also finished in the NBA’s top 10 in three-point shooting in four seasons, including 1984-95 (43.3 percent, 1st), 1986-87 (43.6 percent, 4th), 1988-89 (39.9 percent, 10th) and 1989-90 (42.3 percent, 5th).
But even the most accurate shooters have off nights. The Lakers (3-12) sure could use the help after they have experienced the past two games shooting a combined 12-of-50 in the fourth quarters and one overtime period.
“When I had shooting slumps, I wouldn’t shoot,” Scott said. “I wouldn’t go to the gym and get extra shots. My routine was to come out before a game and get up a bunch of shots. When I felt I wasn’t in a slump, I wouldn’t come out.”
Instead, Scott would channel his temporary shooting inaccuracy a different way.
“For my first shot, I want to be something aggressive gong to the basket,” Scott said. “Let’s see if I can get a layup and get points in the paint and get to the free throw line. I would get myself going that way.”
Scott has passed those suggestions along to his team, hopeful it will help them stop its offensive funk. The late-game shooting woes have extended to all of their scoring threats.
Lakers guard Kobe Bryant has shot a combined 5-of-19 in the past two fourth quarters and one overtime period. During that stretch, Lakers forward Nick Young went 1-of-9 from the field. Lakers guard Jeremy Lin also finished with only a 1-of-6 clip. Meanwhile, the Lakers have shot a combined 1-of-18 from three-point range.
“We talked about trying to get to the basket more and quit settling for 3’s every time,” Scott said. “They do look inviting at times. There are good ways to get 3’s and bad ways.”