Lakers aren’t going the distance with long-range shots
You can’t say the Lakers have been shooting themselves in the foot. They’d miss if they tried.
They were the NBA’s third-worst three-point shooting team before their game Friday against Golden State, their success rate on shots from behind the arc an anesthetizing 22.8%.
They can thank New Orleans (19.5%) and Memphis (20.4%) for bottoming out the category.
“I know we’re better than what we’re shooting right now,” Lakers Coach Mike Brown said. “Probably not too hard to be better than that.”
The culprits are many. Make that almost everybody.
Kobe Bryant was 18.9% from three-point range before Friday. Metta World Peace was even worse (11.8%). Derek Fisher was worse than both of them (9.1%).
Pau Gasol claimed he added a three-point shot during the off-season, tried it three times this season and, predictably, missed them.
Jason Kapono (36.4%) and Troy Murphy (40%) were brought in as free agents to space the floor. They’ve been decent from outside but haven’t shot enough (15 combined attempts through eight games).
“It’s not like we’re forcing up crazy, tough threes. We are getting some pretty good looks,” Kapono said. “Now it’s on us to make them.”
It didn’t happen Thursday in Portland. The Lakers missed all of their three-point attempts (11) for the first time since a November 2003 game against Miami.
They missed 22 in a row stretching over three games until Murphy made one in the second quarter Friday.
“I think it’s going to turn around,” Brown said. “I think we have good three-point shooters on the team. I think guys are still trying to figure out where they’re going to get their looks from and when and how they’re going to come.”
He’s heating up?
Steve Blake couldn’t find his shot last season. He’d be open, he’d fire away and he’d miss, averaging a career-low four points in his first season (and presumably last) in the triangle offense.
The wiry point guard was averaging 8.1 points in his first eight games this season. He had scored in double figures four times, already matching his total from last season.
“This year has gotten off to a good start and I really do enjoy the offense that we’re running,” he said.
The triangle offense did plenty for the Lakers, helping them win five championships under Phil Jackson. It featured a two-guard front instead of the more traditional point guard and shooting guard delineation, which meant Blake didn’t necessarily bring the ball up court.
He likes Brown’s offense, which is more akin to typical pro sets.
“I get to push the ball more and feel the ball in my hands,” he said. “In your whole life, you’re bringing the ball up and then you don’t [last season] … it’s nice to get back to that same feeling.”
Times staff writer Ben Bolch contributed to this report.
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