If you stuck around until the end of the Los Angeles Lakers’ blowout win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday, you probably saw Dwight Howard drain a three in garbage time. It was the third time the center had scratched from deep this season on just five attempts. That’s a third of his career makes from behind the arc just this season.
Howard is not the only Lakers’ center making it rain as his teammate JaVale McGee has made two of his own three attempts on the year matching his career total coming into the season.
McGee and Howard point at each other on the bench when one makes a long ball, a fun tradition that is becoming a staple of blowout wins for the purple and gold. That prompted reporters to ask McGee if there’s a competition going on between the two centers for who can make the most threes on the year. McGee, in typical fashion, informed them that it was bigger than a battle between the two (h/t Harrison Faigen of Silver Screen and Roll):
“We got a friendly competition with the league,” McGee said on Monday night when asked if he and Howard had a “friendly competition” to see who could make more threes. “We got some of the highest 3-point percentages in the league. We’re not competing with each other. We’re competing with the whole league, the same way our whole team is competing with the whole league.
“Just let your shooters shoot.”
If we’re strictly going by percentages, well, McGee and Howard are winning that competition so far. And of course, McGee took offense (jokingly) with the thought that his shooting prowess is a product of playing with the Warriors for two years (he was 0-for-9 in the Bay):
“Why would you say that?” McGee questioned a reporter. “I didn’t shoot threes with the Warriors.”
The 3-point shooting from McGee and Howard has been a fun, if insignificant, subplot of productive seasons from the duo as they have played their roles alongside Anthony Davis nearly perfectly. And while they may not be adding the deep ball to their offensive repertoire on a consistent basis, McGee, in particular, has shown a willingness to boast his touch with some floaters and midrange jumpers in the crowded frontcourt the Lakers trot out for most of every game.
So while they might not whip out their new weapon very often, the league should be very afraid of hell McGee and Howard can unleash at any given time.