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Though his per-game averages of 24.2 points, 10.2 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 2.2 blocks look strong on paper, he hasn’t been the dominant force L.A. needs him to be.
Why is that? Davis is taking, and missing, way too many jumpers during the early stages of the season.
Despite shooting 71.3% on 167 shots from less than five feet from the rim, the type of dominance the Lakers require from him, he’s also attempted 154 jumpshots. The results on those have been horrific.
Davis is shooting 33.1% on those jumpers, which is the least efficient number in the NBA, according to Kirk Goldsberry of ESPN:
Anthony Davis made 1 of his 12 jumpers last night as Lakers lost to Kings.
Out of 56 players who have attempted at least 150 jumpers this season, he ranks last in efficiency, averaging just 0.71 points per shot. pic.twitter.com/sJuHuwWKEC
— Kirk Goldsberry (@kirkgoldsberry) November 27, 2021
This comes after Davis shot 9-of-22 in the loss to the Sacramento Kings, where he went 0-of-5 from distance.
The big man is now shooting 18.4% from deep, which is simply not a recipe for success for a team that wants to optimize floor spacing with LeBron James on the roster.
Davis deserves criticism for taking these shots, but the offensive system under Frank Vogel hasn’t operated smoothly either. The Lakers make it too easy for opponents with a lack of ball movement and players standing still when the ball is with Davis or James.
It’ll take a team effort to get Davis and the Lakers back on track, and that has to happen sooner rather than later based on the way L.A. is playing against teams it should beat.