Earlier this offseason, the Los Angeles Lakers made the decision to bring aboard former All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo on a one-year, $9 million deal in free agency.
It has brought into question how the team plans to utilize both him and second-year point guard Lonzo Ball on the floor that could see them paired together at various times. During a recent Q&A session with Mike Trudell of Lakers.com, Lakers assistant coach Jesse Mermuys stated that team will confidently empower them to both take the open shot when presented to them despite their shooting woes.
Offensively, what you’re trying to coach for all those guys doesn’t have to do with position or player or shooting ability. It’s more shot selection. What is a great shot for our team? What’s an OK shot to a bad shot? When you do it that way, Luke especially – and I think our staff as a whole – aren’t into limiting guys’ potential and what they can and cannot do. We want to show belief and support and confidence in our players. That means letting guys shoot it when they’re open. It’s just about the timing of the shot. Where it’s coming from. The flow. How many times we pass it. How many times we’ve been to the paint. Is the defense broken down. But every guy that’s out there has to be ready to catch and shoot and let it fly with confidence. It doesn’t matter who’s taking them, but let’s take the great shots.
It is clear that the Lakers will continue to run through head coach Luke Walton that is designed to space the floor while looking for the open shot. Although Ball struggled with his shot throughout his rookie year, Walton continued to encourage the 20-year-old to shoot despite hitting just 36 percent of his looks from the field and 30.5 percent from distance.
Meanwhile, Rondo hasn’t had any level of consistency with his outside shot throughout his career is a career 30.9 percent 3-point shooter. He did see some uptick in his efficiency from deep in the playoffs shooting 42.1 percent in nine games played with the New Orleans Pelicans.
The presence of LeBron James should help space the floor and find looks for both Rondo and Ball at times. It may just be a matter of continuing to give them a great light to shoot when the shot is presented to them.
Bob Garcia IV
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