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Lakers’ Anthony Davis looking to keep shooting from three

Anthony Davis looks on after a shot during a game against the Hornets on Oct. 27 at Staples Center.
Anthony Davis looks on after a shot during a game against the Hornets on Oct. 27 at Staples Center.
(Sean M. Haffey / Getty Images)

When Lakers Coach Frank Vogel told Anthony Davis to stop hesitating when he shot threes, Davis immediately agreed that was his problem.

“I already knew,” Davis said. “The ones that I miss I’m either falling back or hesitant on a shot because I want to make the right play. I probably drive or find another player for a shot or I’m not getting my feet set or whatever. Now I’m always shot ready knowing that if it comes to me, I’m going to shoot it.”

Three-point shooting is not a skill Anthony Davis was raised to perfect. He entered the NBA in a more traditional time for the position and like other peers, later worked to expand his game to help create space on the floor.

In his first three NBA seasons he attempted only 27 threes. That number jumped to 108 the next season and 162 in the 2017-18 season, which was a career high. He’s on pace to shatter that mark this season. Davis has already attempted 44 threes and made 34.1% of them.

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Lately, he’s been making a lot of them. In the Lakers’ regular season home-and-home against the Thunder this week, Davis attempted 12 three-pointers and made seven of them. Last night, two of those resulted in four-point plays.

Anthony Davis scored 33 points and had a key four-point play late, and the Lakers won 130-127 over the Thunder to improve to 13-2.

“We want him to take more threes,” LeBron James said. “Teams are playing off of him and he’s too damn good of a shooter not to shoot them. And he’s been doing that the last couple games.”

It’s a skill that’s becoming more and more common among shot-blocking bigs.

Eight players have blocked at least 30 shots this season, and six of them have also attempted at least 10 three-pointers. That list includes Davis, who leads the league with 40 blocks, Dallas’ Kristaps Porzingis, Orlando’s Jonathan Isaac, Milwaukee’s Brook Lopez, San Antonio’s LaMarcus Aldridge and Detroit’s Andre Drummond. Of them, Drummond is the only one to not have made a three yet this season.

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And while Davis attempted a season-high seven three-pointers on Friday, he’s lightly been challenged to do even more.

“Coach told him to shoot 12 tonight,” Rajon Rondo said after the game. “He got close, and he kept making ‘em, so I was telling him to shoot 15.”

The Lakers’ stellar defense has played a big role in the team’s hot start, but they showcased their explosiveness on offense against the Thunder on Tuesday.


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