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Don’t look now, but the Los Angeles Lakers have won five of their last six games and aren’t the current laughing stock of the NBA. With the Lakers starting to turn things around, the media can’t stop fawning over LeBron James’ squad, but JJ Redick thinks everyone needs to take a step back.
Speaking on his ‘Old Man and the Three‘ podcast, Redick was quick to point out that this Lakers’ roster is still incredibly flawed. Anthony Davis playing his best basketball in years and James averaging 26 points per game is hiding the team’s issues that will inevitably be exposed at some point.
Redick made the simple yet extremely important point that this Los Angeles group has no shooting.
“The Miami Heat teams and the Cleveland Cavaliers teams were built to optimize LeBron by surrounding him with shooting, and the Lakers did that initially. They won a championship. And then, the last two seasons, they’ve completely gone away from that. I’ll make the point again. I’ll make the point again,” Redick explained.
“If Anthony Davis is playing like a top-five player, if he’s playing at this level, maybe that lack of shooting does not matter. But I think there’s a corresponding thing here with them shooting the sh-t out of the ball and Anthony Davis hooping.”
On the one hand, Davis’ elite play – he’s averaged 35.5 points over the last six games – may not be sustainable. On the other hand, if these Lakers want to actually make the playoffs and make a run at a title, Davis is going to have to keep playing at an extremely high level.
Speaking of the playoffs, opposing teams actually play defense in the postseason and the pace slows down a bit. This means the Lakers will need to have to shoot it well from three-point land, which is asking a lot from a team that sits 26th in the league in three-point shooting percentage.