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The Lakers’ surprisingly efficient offense has relied heavily on the three-ball early in 2013-14.
Not only are the Lakers launching the second-most threes of any NBA team (25.9 attempts per game), but they’re also draining 40.9 percent of those attempts, good for fifth in the league.
Xavier Henry is shooting 45.2 percent from long range. Jodie Meeks is shooting 44.8 percent. Wesley Johnson is shooting 44.1 percent. Steve Blake is shooting 42.9 percent.
That lengthy list fails to mention Jordan Farmar (39.3 percent) and Nick Young (36.4 percent), who have also held their own from distance.
Just about every perimeter player on the Lakers roster has made an impact in the three-point shooting category.
Again, credit D’Antoni’s offensive system, but the scorching-hot shooting from distance likely will not last.
Henry’s career average from beyond the arc is 35.5 percent. He’s shooting nearly 10 percentage points better than that right now.
Meeks’ career average is 37.3. He’s been way better than that so far, but as noted in an earlier slide, he’s already starting to come back down to earth.
Johnson, meanwhile, shot just 32.3 percent from three last season with the Phoenix Suns. He shot a paltry 31.4 percent from distance the season before with the Minnesota Timberwolves. Don’t be surprised if his hot hand starts to cool off, especially when opposing teams take notice of the Lakers’ great outside shooting and alter defenses accordingly.
The Lakers are shooting only 43.9 percent from inside the three-point arc this season. The 40.9 percent clip from distance ranks them fifth in the NBA.
It won’t be long before opposing teams discover that it’s best to force L.A. off the three-point line.