The Los Angeles Lakers are coming off a rollercoaster ride of a season last year where they started out looking utterly defeated only to bounce back and make a Western Conference Finals run in head coach Darvin Ham’s first year on the job. Now entering year two, Ham recently made waves when he stated he’d like to see Anthony Davis spend more time on the perimeter.
“I want him if he can — I know he won’t do it, but maybe he’ll shock me — but I’ve requested to see six 3-point attempts a game,” Ham told reporters Tuesday. “Three per half, at least. I wouldn’t put that on him if I didn’t think he was capable.”
That thought process might initially sound a bit absurd, especially since Davis has shot 26 percent or less from beyond the arc over the past three seasons. Plus, AD has only averaged three or more three-point attempts per game once in his career. That one occurrence happened to be during the 2019-20 campaign. Davis’ first in L.A. That season, he averaged 3.5 threes per game and shot 33 percent. AD upped that to over 38 percent that postseason en route to winning a championship.
Of course, the caveat to all that is this was the pandemic season, where they had nearly a five-month break, giving plenty of time to rest and heal up prior to the playoffs. So, that factors in, but results are results. Davis also played in 62 of 71 regular season games. That’s the most he’s played since arriving in L.A. Heading into the ‘23-24 campaign, Davis claims his goal is to play all 82 games. If AD can do this and improve his three-point shooting, Kevin Garnett’s MVP prediction might not be so outrageous.
Over AD’s first four campaigns with the Lakers, he’s averaged around 17 shots per game each year. But in’ 19-20, when he shot more threes per game, Davis posted his highest ppg average (26.1) and highest free throw percentage (84.6) and was presumably at his healthiest. Regardless of the NBA hiatus that year, those are the facts.
Whether anyone thinks it’s a losing notion, Ham is thinking outside the box. Ham proved last year that he’s ready for the seat he occupies after being an assistant for over a decade. While it’s only a suggestion, as Hams admits he doesn’t think it’ll happen, this could be a way to inject another element into LA’s offensive attack if Davis is willing to buy in.
If Davis makes two of six three-point attempts each night, that’ll get him back up to that 33 percent mark of a few years ago. That’ll be a 10 percent increase over the last three years combined. Should AD decide to get on that program, it should elevate the Lakers and put them in a great position this season.