The Los Angeles Lakers received a major wake up call on Tuesday when they suffered a game one loss at the hands of the Portland Trail Blazers. Much as it has been since the team entered the bubble in Orlando, the main culprit was the team’s inability to put the ball in the basket.
After the game, Davis credited the Blazers but also pointed out that the team effectively got every shot they wanted but couldn’t knock them down:
Anthony Davis on the Trail Blazers: "They're a good team, there's no surprise that they're here…We gotta shoot better from the line as a team. We got everything we wanted on the offensive end, it's just about make shots." #Lakeshow
— Laurantine (@LoJoMedia) August 19, 2020
That was especially true from behind the arc where the Lakers shot just 5-of-32 or 16%. They weren’t much better inside the arc either, making just 29 of 65 shots and missing 11 of their 31 free throws.
On the surface, Davis is correct. The Lakers generated 41 open or wide open shots (per NBA.com), got to the line a ton, and grabbed 17 offensive rebounds. They hit only 31.7 percent of those open or wide open shots and only 24 of 43 attempts within five feet of the rim.
Of course, that’s not to make an excuse. The Lakers played poorly overall and their abysmal shooting made it really difficult to come back from a big first half deficit. They managed to claw back and take a six-point lead in the fourth quarter – something head coach Frank Vogel noted as a positive – before unraveling in the final minutes again.
At the end of the day, whether it’s shooters missing 3-pointers or big men rushing layups at the rim (that’s what Davis diagnosed as the cause of their finishing problem), you’re not going to win many games when you’re shooting that poorly. The Lakers played mostly great defense all night and held arguably the hottest team in the NBA to just 100 shots but their offense let them down.