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Lakers Reach a New Low

Los Angeles is off to a horrendous start to the NBA season.

We didn’t have the highest hopes for the Lakers this season, but wow, their first week was even more of a struggle than we thought was possible for them.

Through three games, all of which were losses, Los Angeles is connecting on an abysmal 21.2% of its three-point attempts—a number so poor that it forces you to do a double take. Yes, we said the Lakers are shooting just 21.2% from deep.

To put that in perspective, even the worst three-point shooter of all time, Charles Barkley, hit a higher share of his attempts (26.6%) over his career. And of course that was during the 1980s and ’90s, when three-point shooters tried their hand far less—and were far less accurate—than players are nowadays. These Lakers are taking 39 threes per game, making just eight of them on average.

If the Lakers were to keep this up, it would be borderline historic. You have to go back more than three decades, to the 1990–91 Washington Bullets, to find the last time a club shot worse than this from outside. If you want to go back even further to unveil the worst three-point shooting club in NBA history, interestingly enough you’d again land on the Lakers, who reached the NBA Finals in ’83 despite connecting on just 10.4%—10 of 96—of their threes that season.

The shame of it all: So far, the Lakers have been really good on defense, ranking second in the NBA. They turn opponents over at the highest rate in the league and play at an up-tempo pace that last year’s at-times-geriatric group could have only dreamt of. But despite that, and despite having two of the world’s 20 best players to lead the way on offense, we’re talking about an 0–3 start. Los Angeles has an offense that ranks second to last because of an inability to hit the long ball and an issue—the constant questions about Russell Westbrook’s poor fit—that won’t go away until the Lakers end this circus once and for all by making a trade they had all offseason to make.

I’m declaring now that I won’t write about this team again until they do something—either win, have someone break an all-time record for scoring or make a trade worth analyzing—that’s truly deserving of the space. It’s all gotten far too silly considering we’re only one week in.

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