Despite a rocky initial start, the Los Angeles Lakers are pushing their way up the Western Conference standings. Star forward Anthony Davis has been the offensive anchor, but his shooting struggles from beyond the arc continue to persist. Those issues haven’t led to any lost confidence from the Lakers in his touch from distance.
Lakers are starting to hit their stride
After dropping the season’s first two games, the Lakers have progressively turned it around, winning five out of their last six contests.
Los Angeles isn’t racking up wins convincingly, but the team is pushing forward despite the obvious adjustment period. Russell Westbrook is starting to find his offensive role, scoring 20 or more points in four out of the last five games.
As the Lakers continue their surge, the team hasn’t lost any confidence in Davis’ outside shooting issues.
Lakers are overlooking Anthony Davis’ struggles and giving him the green light: ”Keep shooting those without hesitation’
Through the Lakers‘ first eight games, Anthony Davis is the team’s offensive anchor, effectively proving he’s put his injury struggles from last season behind him.
Davis is 10th in the league with 25.0 points and 11.1 rebounds while shooting 50.3% from the floor. However, the 28-year-old is experiencing notable struggles shooting from beyond the arc, hitting at a 17.6% clip (3-of-17). Meanwhile, each of his makes from 3-point range came in separate outings.
Despite the frustrating start, head coach Frank Vogel voiced that he wants Davis to continue to shoot from distance without any hesitation.
“AD is AD, just a lot of garbage points, a lot of runs to the basket,” Vogel said Lakers Nation. “We’re encouraging him to stay with the 3-point shot and keep shooting those without hesitation. He’s off to a slow start shooting the ball from three, but that’s going to come around from him and he’s gonna have an even bigger night.”
Aside from his struggles from beyond the arc, it shouldn’t overshadow his overall elite production. He’s leaning on the strong connection working off James while continuing to build chemistry alongside Westbrook. Davis’ output remains the primary factor to lead them forward toward NBA title contention.
Vogel’s comment demonstrates the team’s unwavering confidence in his play. Davis struggled last year from beyond the arc, shooting at a 26.0% clip, but he dealt with leg issues. His first campaign in Los Angeles featured him hitting at a 33.0% rate on 3.5 attempts per contest.
Davis should only improve as the season rolls along, it’s a matter of him working through the early-season funk.
LeBron James is expected to miss at least a week
James was already ruled out for Thursday’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder. The report also suggested that the Lakers’ medical staff wants him to take his time to recovery.
The 36-year-old is also still feeling the effects of his sore right leg after the near scare last week. It may be a blessing in disguise as it will allow James to recover from both injuries.
The four-time league MVP’s absence will result in an increased offensive workload for Davis and Westbrook. The All-Star duo must lead the way to keep the Lakers more than afloat with James sidelined.
The Lakers’ upcoming week slate features Thursday night against the Thunder, followed by home games against the Charlotte Hornets on Monday, Miami Heat on Wednesday, and Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday.