The Los Angeles Lakers lost Rajon Rondo, one of the best passers in the NBA, to the Atlanta Hawks in free agency. Rob Pelinka replaced Rondo with Dennis Schroder, a guy who has a career average of 4.6 assists per game.
There was some concern in Lakerland that the Purple and Gold’s passing attack would diminish some this season, and we’d see more one-on-one play with Dennis Schroder, Montrezl Harrell, and perhaps Anthony Davis: Thus far, that hasn’t been the case.
The Lakers are averaging 27 assists per game (9th in the NBA).
Throughout the Lakers’ first four games, the ball has been hopping around the court in unique ways.
The Lakers are averaging only 38.5 drives per game (28th in the NBA), yet (once again) they have produced 18 wide-open three-point shot attempts per contest and are in the top-10 in the NBA in assists.
How are the Purple and Gold managing to assist on so many wide-open shot attempts?
The Lakers are racking up assists in three ways:
- The Lakers as a whole have been making quick cuts to the basket and either scoring or passing off of that play type, thus racking up assists.
- LeBron James and Anthony Davis have so much gravity that they can create open looks for teammates by merely dribbling the ball on the perimeter, and this season both men have made the correct swing pass when a help defender strays too far towards one of them.
- The Lakers have the best passing fast-break attack in the NBA.
The Lakers as a whole have played an unselfish, pass-first brand of basketball, and every player on the roster has repeatedly told the media they don’t care about their individual numbers; they just want to win.
LeBron James is a sublime passer, and outside of Nikola Jokić, Marc Gasol is the best passing big in the association. With those two at the helm of the Lakers’ offensive attack, other players who haven’t always looked to pass (Anthony Davis, Kyle Kuzma, Montrezl Harrell, and even Dennis Schroder at times in his career) will continue to swing the ball.
The adage, “Passing is contagious,” is truly at play this season in Hollywood.
We buy the Los Angeles Lakers passing ability.
The Purple and Gold will remain in the top-10 in assists this season, and they should inch towards the top spot in the league.