Los Angeles Lakers showed a promising sign in a game that didn’t matter

Los Angeles Lakers (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Los Angeles Lakers (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

The Los Angeles Lakers’ loss to the Sacramento Kings was not all negative.

The Los Angeles Lakers ended their seeding games in the NBA bubble with a 136-122 loss at the hands of the Sacramento Kings. The Lakers finished with a 3-5 record in the eight seeding games, which might not be the most promising of signs.

To be fair, most of these games did not matter as the Lakers were essentially a lock for the first seed heading into the bubble and locked it up before the Los Angeles Clippers even played their third game.

This game against the Kings as the epitome of games that do not matter. The Lakers could not influence the playoffs at all and the Kings were already locked out of the playoffs. Anthony Davis did not start and LeBron James only played 14 minutes.

In a game that did not matter, though, the Los Angeles Lakers showed one really promising sign that absolutely matters for the NBA Playoffs: they kept up their streak of solid three-point shooting.

The Los Angeles Lakers began the bubble with horrendous shooting

The Los Angeles Lakers were really concerning from both beyond the arc and from the floor as a whole. The Lakers set three new season lows in field-goal percentage in the first five seeding games and shot historically bad from beyond the arc.

The team had three games in which they shot under 30 percent from beyond the arc, including a game where they shot 30.6 percent. They made a combined seven of 56 attempts against the Oklahoma City Thunder and Houston Rockets.

We said it before and we will say it again: the Lakers were not going to get very far in the NBA Playoffs with that kind of shooting.

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The team got better against Indiana and continued that with a really solid shooting night against Denver, making 14 of 29 attempts (48.3 percent). The most important thing from this game that did not matter is the team proved that was not just one good night as they made 15 of 35 attempts (42.9 percent).

The perimeter defense was still pretty bad and that is what led to the loss but this game, more than any other game, simply seemed to be a lack of full commitment from the Lakers on the defensive end, which is not surprising.

Regardless, LeBron James made two of five attempts, Markieff Morris made four of five attempts and Dion Waiters made three of six attempts. Danny Green still struggled (of course) but those are three guys who are in the playoff rotation that could provide a huge jolt if they shoot that effectively from three.

The Los Angeles Lakers do not have to be the Golden State Warriors from beyond the arc. That is not their bread and butter. However, the team needs to be able to at least keep up with the teams they are going to face in the playoffs, especially considering they are likely facing the Portland Trail Blazers and Houston Rockets.

Next. Why the title odds have gone down in the bubble. dark

This was a good sign that perhaps the team is not going to struggle at much in accomplishing that as we initially thought.