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Lakers' Darvin Ham: If I Can Get Robin Lopez to Hit 3s, 'I'm Sure' Damian Jones Can

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVOctober 1, 2022

Los Angeles Lakers head coach Darvin Ham laughs attends a news conference during the NBA basketball team's Media Day Monday, Sept. 26, 2022, in El Segundo, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

Los Angeles Lakers head coach Darvin Ham is confident he can help Damian Jones expand his offensive repertoire.

Ham used Robin Lopez, whom he coached with the Milwaukee Bucks, to make his point.

"No disrespect Robin, but if I have Robin Lopez making threes, I’m sure I can make Damian Jones to make threes," he told reporters Sunday.

Before the 2019-20 campaign, Lopez was 11-of-51 from the perimeter across 11 seasons. In his one year with the Bucks, he attempted 105 threes and shot 33.3 percent.

Jones showed some range in 2021-22 with the Sacramento Kings, shooting 34.5 percent on 29 attempts. Getting him to match that same clip with a higher volume of tries would be a nice boost for a Lakers offense that struggled to stretch the floor last year.

Anthony Davis was a sub-20 percent (18.6) shooter on three-pointers, and neither Dwight Howard nor DeAndre Jordan offered any range.

Especially if Davis intends to deploy Davis at the 4, Jones is likely to have a big role. He could get a lot of run with the first unit.

Kyle Goon @kylegoon

Lot of combinations, but we’ve been seeing a lot of Damian Jones and Kendrick Nunn on the same squad with LeBron and Russ. Notably we haven’t seen AD participate in this open scrimmage; Troy Brown and Lonnie Walker, who have been limited this week, are also not scrimmaging.

Dan Woike @DanWoikeSports

Saw a little Lakers scrimmage today. Was struck by the competitive effort, aggressiveness from LeBron James and Russell Westbrook. Kendrick Nunn looked smooth offensively. Austin Reaves flashed some play-making. Damian Jones even floated to the corner to take a 3. Better idea Mon

"Damian is just a really young, athletic big," Ham said Friday of the veteran center. "He runs like a deer. He can jump to the ceiling. Really defensive-minded. Tries to protect the rim. Sets good screens. Rolls hard. Creating a constant threat at the rim. Again, being a presence in the paint defensively."

Regarding Jones as a stretch 5, expectations will obviously be tempered. But it could be night and day between him and what the Lakers were doing at center a season ago.

If opposing defenses at least have to respect Jones as a potential threat from deep, it will open the paint a bit more for Davis, LeBron James and Russell Westbrook.

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