Kentavious Caldwell-Pope shooting is key to Lakers success

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
3-point shooting from Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is a key to the Lakers’ second round series. (Gary A. Vasquez/USA Today Sports)

No one on the Los Angeles Lakers roster knows turning things around from tougher times than Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. Since landing with the franchise his role has shifted from starter to reserve with missed time due to off-court troubles sprinkled in. Throughout it all, he’s done a great job of contributing and bouncing back to become an integral piece to this team’s championship aspirations.

The Lakers don’t have the prototypical “three and D” perimeter players that most contenders boast, but KCP does his best to fit this mold of a role on the team. He has good anticipation and hands to play the passing lane. His speed and agility to chase shooters and ballhandlers is also a useful tool. And all of that combined comes with some very solid shooting.

When KCP is shooting well, the Lakers are damn near unbeatable. In 23 games during the regular season, they posted a 19-4 record in games where he shot 40 percent or better with at least two made threes. He finished the season at 38.5 percent. The seeding games are where things took a turn. In the six games he played, he only made five of 18 attempts which was a factor in the Lakers looking like a shell of themselves.

When the postseason started, KCP started to find his form hitting 13 of 32 threes. He pushed his average back up to 40.6 percent in their 4-1 series win over the Portland Trail Blazers. As the shots poured in, you could see the confidence exuding from him and the entire team. He shot extremely well while helping contain a red-hot Damian Lillard.

The Houston Rockets are a team that wants to play the math game and outshoot their opponent. If the Lakers plan to keep up, they’ll need KCP to play equalizer in this series.

Who would’ve ever thought the Lakers would go as Kentavious Caldwell-Pope goes? Judging by his performances and mentality, KCP probably did.

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