There is a lot of excitement around the Los Angeles Lakers heading into the 2023-24 season. For the first time since the 2020-21 season, the Lake Show actually has a roster that is talented enough to win a championship. It is the best roster of the LeBron James era with some arguing that it is the deepest Lakers roster of all time.
As long as head coach Darvin Ham doesn’t get in the way, this Lakers team should be able to coast to a playoff spot and be competitive against any other team in the NBA Playoffs. Ham had a fairly good season in his rookie year so that is not a huge concern but he did still have quirks (three-guard lineups, for one) that sometimes held LA back.
While the three-guard lineup appears to be a thing of the past, Ham’s newest quirk might be setting up his best player to fail. Ham told reporters on Tuesday that he wants star big man Anthony Davis to shoot around six three-point shots per game.
"“I want him, if he can — I know he won’t do it, but maybe he’ll shock me — but I’ve requested to see six 3-point attempts a game,” Ham said after practice Tuesday. “Three per half, at least. I wouldn’t put that on him if I didn’t think he was capable.”"
Darvin Ham is setting Anthony Davis up to fail the Lakers.
Anthony Davis expanding his game and taking more three-point shots has been something that the Lakers tried to emphasize in the past. After shooting the ball well in the 2020 NBA Playoffs (albeit in 2.9 attempts per game) former head coach Frank Vogel wanted to implement Davis’ three-point shot more during the 2020-21 season.
Davis leaned into this early in the season before the team quickly abandoned it and he returned back to his regular frequency. In the first eight games of that season Davis averaged 3.8 threes per game and shot a very promising 40%. However, that success quickly waned and Davis would end up finishing the year with a 26% three-point rate.
The following season Davis would shoot a career-low 18.6%. Last season, Davis attempted 1.3 threes per game (his lowest since his third season) and shot 25.7% from beyond the arc. One may assume that Davis shot better once Russell Westbrook left and the floor spacing was fixed but that was not the case. He attempted 1.1 threes per game after Russ left and shot 21.4%.
There has been talk this offseason about Davis working on his jumper and the progress that he made in that regard. That is great! But it should not result in him taking an absurd amount of threes. The Lakers just need him to be more efficient than he has been, not take twice as many.
The most threes Davis has taken in his career per game is 3.5 in the 2019-20 season. That should be the ceiling of his frequency. If he is taking that many threes and is efficient then maybe the Lakers can consider adding more to his plate. But until then, it is a waste of offensive efficiency to have Davis attempt that many threes per game.
This is only going to hurt his game and is going to create some unnecessary hiccups for the Lakers’ offense. Hopefully, Ham was being hyperbolic.