Some stats are overrated. Field goal percentage doesn’t equate to good shooting just as steals do not indicate great defense.
Some stats are irrelevant and reveal nothing of a team. Opponents’ field goal percentage is perhaps the most ridiculous of all.
Some stats tell the whole story. More often than not a good rebounding team is also a good defensive team.
So when you glance at the stat sheet and see that the 2011-12 Los Angeles Lakers are shooting 23% from three-point range through six games on an average of 18 attempts per game, you get an idea of why this team is struggling offensively.
There are only two types of teams that will continue to jack up threes when they’re not making very many of them. One is any team coached by Don Nelson. The other is a team that is just plain lazy on offense.
Since Mike Brown is running the Lake Show consider the Lakers the latter.
There were no secrets that Coach Brown’s strength was never on the offensive end of the court. Thus far his team has helped live up to that promise. The Lakers have yet to crack 100 points in a game. That is no real surprise when you lose Lamar Odom and are without Andrew Bynum for the first four games. However, even with Bynum back the Lakers are still lacking in offensive output.
Part of the problem relates to new players and new roles being assigned in Brown’s system. Still it is hard to ignore all those bricks being laid from deep.
Kobe Bryant is the worst culprit of all. Bryant is hitting only 19% of his long bombs on an average of right around 4 attempts a game. In some instances Kobe is pressing in others he’s just settling.
Same can be said for many of the Lakers.
All too often the ball is just being swung around the perimeter without the bigs ever getting a touch. Coach Brown is on the record saying Bynum’s touches in the paint will increase this season. It is still too early to make any assessment on that with only two games as a sample size.
Even so the heavy dependence on three-point shooting is becoming a bad habit. Bad only because there just aren’t enough great shooters on this team to justify nearly 20 jacks a night.
Aside from Kobe and Jason Kapono no other Lakers should have the permanent green light from beyond the arc. In Kobe’s case he gets a pass because…well…he’s Kobe Bryant. Kapono is actually an all-time great from the land of three. Andrew Goudelock could work his way into this convo but there’s no merit on potential.
Otherwise every other Laker should only shoot from deep if they have a great look or just don’t have any other choice due to the shot clock or a specific game situation.
Steve Blake has rediscovered his confidence but that doesn’t mean his stroke is back. 32% is nothing to write home about. Now when compared to Metta World Peace and his 15% clip, Blake’s numbers look Hall of Fame worthy. Of course Derek Fisher would love to be World Peace right about now. D-Fish is below the hoops’ Mendoza line at an embarrassing .091%.
The concept isn’t too difficult to grasp. If you’re not good at something then don’t waste time trying to prove something to yourself. Instead, rely on your strengths and exploit the weaknesses of others. By ignoring the post game the Lakers are going away from a strength while playing into their opponents’ hands by exploiting their own weakness. The stats don’t lie on that one.