A staggering statistic has emerged for the Lakers. It does not just involve the Lakers losing three consecutive exhibition games by double-digit margins. It also goes beyond the Lakers conceding more than 100 points in those contests after spending most of training camp revamping their defense.
The Lakers have also failed to replicate one of their lone strengths from last season’s disaster that ended with the worst record in L.A. franchise history. The Lakers cannot hit three-pointers, entering Sunday’s game against the Utah Jazz at Staples Center averaging a league-worst 20.7 percent from shots beyond the arc. They have gone 1-of-19 from three-point range in the past three games and have gone through an 11 1/2 quarter-drought since making a shot from behind the arc.
The simple explanation partly stems from ongoing injuries to Steve Nash (back spasms), Jeremy Lin (sprained left ankle), Nick Young (right thumb), Ryan Kelly (strained left hamstring), Jordan Clarkson (left calf muscle) and Xavier Henry (back spasms), players that can both attack the basket to open up the floor and can outside shots with dependable accuracy.
“When you have all three of your shooters out, it’s kind of hard,” Lakers coach Byron Scott said. “It would be nice to have those guys back. But that’s a fantasy now.”
Yet, Scott also believes it’s a fantasy that the Lakers should adopt the league-wide trend that puts a premium on 3-point shooting. While teams last year averaged 21.5 attempts per game, Scott said he hopes the Lakers take anywhere between 12-15 3-point shots once they have a fully healthy roster.
“I don’t believe it wins championships,” Scott said. “It gets you to the playoffs.”