EL SEGUNDO, CA – On the way to the Los Angeles Lakers to win the title in 2020, Anthony Davis He showed full versatility in his game, shooting nearly 40% of the 3rd in the playoffs in the NBA bubble.
Last season, Davis’s outside shot fell off a cliff, dropping his 3-point lead to 18.6%, contributing to the Lakers’ 22nd place in the league from outside the arc.
It’s been a disappointing season overall for Davis, who missed 42 games with knee and ankle injuries. And it was revealed on Tuesday, after the second day of Lakers training camp under new coach Darvin Hamm, that he had been dealing with a previously undisclosed illness that affected his accuracy.
“A lot of people don’t know this, but since January I’ve had a year-round wrist injury,” Davis said. “So it was affecting 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 follow through.”
How bad is that?
“I couldn’t continue,” Davis said. “Anytime I followed it was very painful. And I had to try to do it over and over again.”
The Lakers center is confident its approach to the offseason, which drew some criticism in June when a video of Davis saying he hadn’t shot a basketball since the regular season ended two months before it was circulated on social media, was wise. He needed to get his body right first before resuming skill training.
“I’m 100 percent healthy,” Davis said. “I feel great. You can ask the guys here, I’m really shooting the ball. So, I’ll be ready. Wherever the coach puts me on the ground, midrange, pole, or perimeter, if I get a shot, I’ll shoot it.”
While Hamm has repeatedly said fixing the Lakers’ weak defense is his number one priority, Lakers vice president of basketball operations and general manager Rob Pelinka this week admitted that shootings outside remain a concern for the team as well.
“I think in terms of shooting, this is a skill that is in demand,” Pelinka said during Monday’s media briefing. “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 the inside, and we feel there are players in our squad this year who will see that growth.”
Count Beverly as one of the players on the roster and is confident he can be dangerous from the depths. When a reporter suggested to the veteran goalkeeper that his offensive role could include cuts to the basket this season, he quickly offered compensation.
“My numbers say I shoot 3s,” Beverly said. “I don’t know if I should do the cutting. I don’t know if your numbers are saying, you’re a reporter or something else. I don’t know if you should be a firefighter or something, not with your job and title you don’t want to do that, so I don’t want to cut.”
Beverly noted that he shot 39% in 3 seconds to catch and shoot with Minnesota last season – at the same range as Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors, who tied 39.5% of his capture and shooting attempts.
“The numbers don’t lie,” Beverly said. “Obviously an elite three-point shooter to pick up and shoot. My defense has always been up front, because that’s what people see. But when it comes to numbers, I shoot with the best of them in the league.”
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