The Los Angeles Lakers have a wild start to the 2022-23 season. Early on, they looked like arguably the worst team in the league, and it seemed like only a matter of time before they self-destructed. But now, the Lakers are one of the hottest teams in the league, as they have won eight of their last ten games and are quickly proving that they need to be taken seriously after being the laughingstock of the league in the early going.
JJ Redick believes he knows what has sparked the Lakers' recent stretch of winning
The Lakers were patient with their current core, and everything is beginning to work out for them just when it seemed like they were on the verge of falling apart. Of course, it's been hard to miss how good Anthony Davis has been for Los Angeles, as he has quickly become an MVP candidate from seemingly out of nowhere.
But according to JJ Redick, that isn't the only reason for the Lakers' sudden change in fortunes. Redick explains that while Davis' recent transition into an MVP-caliber player has helped, L.A. is winning now because they are beginning to hit their threes. Remember, the Lakers were one of the worst three-point shooting teams in NBA history to open the season, so it shouldn't be a surprise to see that they are winning now that they are hitting their shots from behind the arc.
"In addition to Anthony Davis hooping, LeBron, at almost eight attempts a game shooting 47 percent from three. Lonnie Walker IV, on over five attempts a game in the last ten, 47 percent. Austin Reaves only shooting three attempts a game, he's shooting 47 percent as well. So, they are on a burner right now from three. It's corresponding with Anthony Davis hooping. I would argue that the two go hand in hand. You are less likely to double team or send help on Anthony Davis if you know a guy is hot." - JJ Redick, The Old Man & The Three
Is the Los Angeles Lakers' current hot streak sustainable?
Redick makes a good point here, and it makes sense because Davis is doing most of his work in the paint for the Lakers right now. Davis has improved his three-point shooting after a horrific start to the season, as he's hitting 33.3 percent of his shots from behind the arc right now, but he's only taking 1.4 threes per game. Davis is playing like a true center, and the results have been superb as of late.
But part of the reason teams aren't giving Davis more attention right now is because if they sink into the paint, they are getting burned by the Lakers at the perimeter. Redick mentions James, Walker, and Reaves as three players who are hitting nearly half of their threes over their last ten games. If you can hit threes while having a paint beast like Davis at your disposal, it makes it very tough for opposing defenses to slow you down.
Whether or not this is sustainable remains to be seen. The Lakers will likely settle down and find a middle ground after starting the season ice-cold before becoming one of the hottest shooting teams in the league. But Redick is right in saying that Davis isn't the only reason for the Lakers' hot streak, and it will be interesting to see how teams begin to adapt to them getting back to their winning ways.