LeBron James didn’t sugarcoat his assessment of the Lakers’ shooting struggles after a 123-109 loss to the Warriors in Tuesday’s season opener.
“We’re getting great looks, but it could also be teams giving us great looks,” James said postgame at the Chase Center. “To be completely honest, we’re not a team that’s constructed of great shooting and that’s just the truth of the matter. It’s not like we’re sitting here with a lot of lasers on our team.
“But that doesn’t deter us from still trying to get great shots. When you get those opportunities, you take them. We’re not sitting here with a bunch of 40-plus [percent] career three point shooting guys. “
James recorded 31 points on 12-of-25 shooting (3-of-10 from three) to go with 14 rebounds and eight assists. The Lakers were 10-of-40 from three in the opener, with Westbrook and Anthony Davis a combined 1-or-6 from deep.
Davis tallied 27 points (0-of-3 from three), six rebounds and four steals in the loss.
Westbrook, who’s been limited due to hamstring injury, added 19 points (1-of-3 from three), 11 rebounds and three assists.
The Lakers are aware that 3-point shooting is a weakness for their current roster. They finished preseason with a 3-point shooting percentage of 28.6% that ranked 26th amongst the 30 NBA teams.
During media day, vice president of basketball operations Rob Pelinka said, “I think in terms of shooting, we know that’s a needed skill.”
The Lakers ranked bottom-10 in three-point shooting in 2021-22, and failed to pick up any sharpshooters over the summer, which was flooded with questions about retooling their roster following a disastrous 33-49 record last season.
Los Angeles also did not retain any of their top three-point shooters in Malik Monk (Kings) and free agents, Carmelo Anthony and Wayne Ellington.
James (34.6 percent), along with Patrick Beverley (37.7 percent), and Kendrick Nunn (36.5 percent), currently own the highest career three-point shooting percentages on the roster.
Meanwhile, Steph Curry led the reigning champion Warriors to their first win of the season with 33 points after a slow start – following the team’s pregame championship ring ceremony.
The Lakers host the Clippers on Thursday.