2. Improve the Los Angeles Lakers’ bench scoring
Last season the Los Angeles Lakers struggled offensively when they brought in their reserves. Only Kuzma was a productive, relatively consistent scorer coming off the bench. This was especially true once the season resumed in the Orlando bubble and Caldwell-Pope moved into the starting lineup when Avery Bradley opted not to play.
Now both Kuzma and Harrell are providing scoring punch off the bench. Harrell is relentless in the paint. He’s shooting 62% from the field and has displayed a nice baseline jumper.
Additionally, Wes Matthews began the season ice-cold, perhaps taking time to adjust to coming off the bench for the first time after being a starter for his entire 11-year career. Just as he got red-hot he had to sit out three games with a sore Achilles. We can expect him to be an additional scoring threat going forward.
3. Improve the Los Angeles Lakers’ 3-Point Shooting
In the 2019-20 season, the Lakers shot 34.9% from behind the line, ranking 21st in the NBA. They improved ever so slightly in the postseason to 35.4%.
The team is shooting much better from deep this season, hitting at 39.6%. They are led by two players in the league’s top ten: Alex Caruso at 58.3% (on 24 attempts) and KCP at 55.3% (38 tries). Although it is unlikely either player can maintain that pace, both look comfortable and confident launching shots beyond the arc.
Five other rotation players are also shooting quite well from long distance. Kuzma is connecting on 40% of his tries, Matthews 39%, LeBron 38.2%, Marc Gasol 38.1% and AD 37.1%. Those percentages represent career bests for both Kuzma and Davis and the second-highest ever for James.