EL SEGUNDO, California — On the Los Angeles Lakers’ road to the title in 2020, Anthony Davis showed the full versatility of his game, shooting nearly 40% of 3 in the playoffs into the NBA bubble.
Last season, Davis’ outside shot fell off a cliff, dropping his 3-point percentage to 18.6%, contributing to the Lakers’ 22nd place in the league from outside the arc.
It was a disappointing season overall for Davis, who missed 42 games due to knee and ankle injuries. He revealed on Tuesday, after the Lakers’ second day of training under new coach Darvin Ham, that he was dealing with a previously undisclosed condition that affected his accuracy.
“A lot of people don’t know this, but I’ve been struggling with a wrist injury all year since January,” Davis said. “So it affected my shot and everything. That’s no excuse, but it was hard for me to shoot how I wanted to shoot. I couldn’t really go on.”
How bad was it?
“I couldn’t follow it,” Davis said. “Every time I went through, it was very painful. And I had to try that again and again.”
The Lakers center is confident that its approach to the off-season, which received some criticism in June when a video of Davis saying he hadn’t shot basketball since the regular season ended two months earlier, circulated on social media. was careful. He had to get his body in order before resuming skills training.
“I’m 100 percent healthy,” Davis said. “I feel great. You can ask guys here, I really shoot the ball. So I’ll be ready. Wherever the coach puts me on the ground, midrange, post, perimeter, if I have a chance, I’ll go shoot it.”
While Ham has repeatedly said recovering from the Lakers’ anemia is his No. 1 priority, Lakers vice president of basketball operations and general manager Rob Pelinka admitted this week that shooting outdoors also remains a concern for the team.
“I think in terms of shooting that’s a required skill,” Pelinka said during Monday’s media day. “Some of that can come from the outside, through additional roster moves or roster moves throughout the season. But the shooting growth can also come from within, and we feel like there are players on our team this year that you’re going to see grow. “
Ham named Patrick Beverley, LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, Kendrick Nunn and rookies Max Christie and Scotty Pippen Jr. as standout marksmen during the early part of the camp.
Count Beverley as one of the players on the roster who is convinced he can be dangerous from deep within. When a reporter suggested to the veteran guard that his offensive role this season could include cuts to the basket, he quickly responded.
“My numbers say I shoot threes,” Beverley said. “I don’t know if I should cut. I don’t know if your numbers say, you’re a reporter or whatever. I don’t know if you should become a firefighter or something, not with your job and title You don’t want to, so I wouldn’t want to cut.”
Beverley pointed out that he shot 39% on catch-and-shoot 3s with Minnesota last season — in the same range as the Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry, who made 39.5% of his catch-and-shoot attempts.
“Numbers don’t lie,” Beverley said. “Elite catch-and-shoot 3-point shooter of course. My defense has always been at the forefront because that’s what people see. But when it comes to the numbers, I shoot with the best of them in the league.”
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