Lakers Aim for Higher Quality of 3-Point Attempts

Luke Walton recognizes that his team has found minimal success from 3-point range.

After shooting just 7-of-25 on triples in Friday’s loss to Phoenix, Walton said that the team will have “every guy scale it back till we start making some more (3’s).”

Currently, the Lakers rank last in the NBA in both made 3-pointers (7.0) and percentage (28.7), and each of those figures has been slightly down as the team has lost five of its last six games.

Walton has no problem with his players attempting triples that are open, in rhythm and following several passes.

However, he wants to eliminate the attempts that follow a stagnant possession, when players settle for semi-contested attempts just because their defender slightly sags off.

“That’s not a good 3, in my opinion, for our team,” Walton said at Saturday’s practice. “And it’s not the way we want to play.”

Fortunately for the Lakers, they have managed to soften the effect of their 3-point drought.

They have been excellent attacking the rim, leading the NBA in points in the paint (55.4). On the other end of the floor, they have forced their opponents to experience similar 3-point issues.

With disciplined closing out on shooters, the Lakers have held foes to a league-low 31.3 percent 3-point mark.

Now the challenge is boosting their own clip.

One person capable of doing this is stretch five Brook Lopez, who is hitting 32.4 percent from deep. Despite being a center, Lopez is one of the top shooters on the roster and capable of improving his number.

“When it’s a good shot, open, in rhythm with our offense you’ve got to take it,” Lopez said. “If it’s open you’ve got to have confidence to shoot it and knock it down. I think Luke’s talking a lot about one-pass, pull-up transition 3’s — stuff like that.”