The Los Angeles Lakers have a squad built for immediate glory, with two of the top 5 players in the world - LeBron James and Anthony Davis - in their roster. A team of many talents, the LA Lakers finished top of the Western Conference in the regular season of the NBA, with an impressive 52-19 record. In this article our focus will be looking at the top 5 3-point shooters right now in the LA Lakers squad.
The LA Lakers rank among the top teams in the NBA in just about every statistic. Most impressively, they are at number one when it comes to field goal percentage, meaning that no other franchise scores the basketball more efficiently than the LA Lakers. That being said, today's NBA is heavily reliant on 3-point scoring.
A larger percentage of the shots today are 3-point field goal attempts, more than ever before. It is very difficult to beat a team who can light it up from outside the arc, and the LA Lakers are aware of that. They faced this problem against the Portland Trail Blazers in game 1 of the 1st round of the Western Conference playoffs, where they ended up losing courtesy of a lack of potency from 3-point range.
The LA Lakers ranked an abysmal 21st in 3-point field goal percentage in the regular season, with less than 35% of their attempts falling. In the playoffs, they shot even worse. If not for the superstar capability of LeBron James and Anthony Davis, they might have struggled to see off a gutsy Portland side in the 1st round. Now going up against a 3-point reliant Houston Rockets team, the LA Lakers know they have to at-least try and match their might when it comes to outside scoring.
Here are LA Lakers' top 5 3-point shooters right now, who will be key against the Houston Rockets.
#5 LeBron James
Regular season 3pt %: 34.8%
Career 3pt %: 34.4%
LeBron James ranked 5th on the LA Lakers roster when it came to efficiency from beyond the arc, with 34.8% of his shots falling from distance. He took 6.3 shots per game, making 2.2 of them. These numbers are only slightly above his career percentage, although he is taking a lot more shots than he normally does.
We have seen LeBron James knock down some shots from way outside the arc, from range normally considered only for Damian Lillard and Steph Curry. When he is feeling good, James can certainly be dangerous from downtown.
#4 Avery Bradley
Regular season 3-pt %: 36.4%
Career 3-pt %: 36.4%
Avery Bradley is known more as a player who can lock down the best opposition guard with his elite defense, but 29-year-old can certainly shoot the ball too. The former Boston Celtics man is shooting exactly his best career 3-point percentage this season - a respectable 36.4% on 3.5 attempts per game.
Bradley's prime role is still to play smothering defense and guard the perimeter to the best of his ability, but the fact that he can be a competent shooter from outside is very handy for the LA Lakers. They are sorely missing his presence in the bubble.
#3 Quinn Cook
Regular season 3-pt %: 36.5%
Career 3-pt %: 40.7%
A former NBA Champion with Golden State Warriors, Quinn Cook has cemented his place in LA Laker's Top 5 3-point shooters list. For that very reason, an efficiency of 36.5% from beyond the arc is somewhat disappointing. The LA Lakers would certainly have hoped for a much higher percentage, especially given the fact that he attempted less than 2 threes a game.
He shot well above 40% during his time with GSW, and if he can find that shooting rhythm back, the LA Lakers could benefit from the same in the playoffs.
#2 Danny Green
Regular season 3-pt %: 36.7%
Career 3-pt %: 40%
One of the NBA's most reputed 3-and-D players, Danny Green is having a stinker of a season when it comes to knocking down 3s. He has had some games where he has gotten the ball to drop effortlessly into the basket, but generally it has been a lack of consistency that has disappointed the LA Lakers fans.
A significant part of the LA Lakers' championship aspirations are dependent on Danny Green making his shots, and they are a much stronger team when the two-time NBA Champion is feeling it from downtown.
#1 The LA LAkers' best 3-point shooter: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
Regular season 3-pt %: 38.5%
Career 3-pt %: 34.9%
At times this season, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has shown absolutely torn apart teams with his outside shooting. However, much like Danny Green, KCP has sometimes gone on cold stretches where he found it difficult to buy a 3-pointer. Still, he is statistically LA Lakers' best 3-point shooter right, and he is crucial to their hopes of winning another Championship.
He has often been the third scoring option on the LA Lakers when Kyle Kuzma hasn't got going, and he needs to keep taking that responsibility if the LA Lakers are to go all the way.