NBA Playoffs 2013: Poor Shot Selection Hinders Lakers Comeback

79 points.

That’s all the Los Angeles Lakers scored on Sunday afternoon against the No. 2 seeded San Antonio Spurs. It was the third-lowest offensive output for the team in 2012-13.

In fact, the Lakers offense was so anemic that Kobe Bryant, who is out for the rest of the season with a torn Achilles, couldn’t help but tweet advice to his teammates.

Advice that they couldn’t hear.

Lakers Take Poor Quality Shots:

Kobe tweeted during the game, “Gotta milk pau in the post right now and d12. Will get good looks from it.”

The Lakers tendency to not pound it inside was a common theme throughout the game. Give credit to the Spurs defense, who forced the Lakers to take low percentage shots.

That being said, the quality of shots the Lakers took on Sunday afternoon was atrocious.

The team took 29 mid-range jumpers, which are statistically the least efficient shot anyone can take because of its distance and the fact that its only worth two points. 40 percent of all Lakers’ field goal attempts were mid-rangers. To help put things into perspective, only 22 percent of all Laker shots were mid-rangers in the regular season. Making matters worse was the Lakers inefficiency from the mid range. They only made seven of their 29 attempts.

In contrast, the Lakers were highly successful in the restricted area, making 14 of their 16 attempts in that zone. The problem? They only took 16 attempts from that area. Just 22 percent of all Laker field goal attempts came from the restricted area. To help put that into perspective, 33 percent of all Laker field goal attempts in the regular season were from the restricted area. So the Lakers succeeded from the paint, but didn’t go there enough, as highlighted by Kobe in his tweets.

Steve Nash and Steve Blake Start Taking Too Many Shots:

With Kobe Bryant out of the lineup, other players on the Lakers are getting a chance to touch shoot the ball. Nash took 15 shots on Sunday afternoon, which may not seem too much, but for him, it was the third highest shot total of the season. Blake, on the other hand, took 13, which was also his third highest shot total of the season.

With two bigs like Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard on the floor and with the Lakers dominating from within five feet to the hoop (15-of-18 overall in Game 1), perhaps it would’ve been best for the two to be distributors for the big men.

Manu Factor:

In just 19 minutes off the bench, Manu Ginobili scored 18 points and was a +19. Matt Bonner was also a cog off the bench, scoring 10 points and recording a +18. On the contrary, the Laker bench was a combined -44 with just 10 points. The Lakers bench was a key factor in the final nine games of the regular season, but definitely was a non-factor today.

Defense Kept Lakers in the Game:

With all of that said, the Lakers managed to stay within striking distance until the 4th quarter. The Lakers had a defensive rating of 93.8 in the game, which was far better than their regular season defensive rating of 103.6. They held Tony Parker to just 8-of-21 shooting and Tim Duncan to 6-of-15. That’s not bad. However, 18 turnovers and poor shot selection turned the game into a run-and-gun battle. The Lakers, being an old team, can’t keep up with that brand of basketball and as a result, succumbed to the Spurs.


About andrekhatch

Red Sox. Cowboys. Lakers. Penguins. USC.
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One Response to NBA Playoffs 2013: Poor Shot Selection Hinders Lakers Comeback

  1. Pingback: NBA Playoffs 2013: Spurs Forcing Lakers To Take Mid-Range Jumpers And It’s Working | Beyond the Final Score

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