Lakers coach notes what Rajon Rondo, Lonzo Ball must do as non-shooting point guards
The Los Angeles Lakers snatched one of the best playmakers available in free agency, signing LeBron James to a four-year, $154 million deal, but the point guard position remains a relative mystery, with two non-shooting point guards who have hit at 30 percent or worst from deep throughout their careers.
Lonzo Ball and Rajon Rondo have proven to be non-threats behind the 3-point line, which led Lakers assistant coach Jesse Mermuys to explain what the plan will be with those two at the reins.
“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,” said Mermuys, according to Mike Trudell of Lakers.com. “What is a great shot for our team? What’s an OK shot to a bad shot? When you do it that way, Luke [Walton] especially – and I think our staff as a whole – aren’t into limiting guys’ potential and what they can and cannot do.”
Mermuys noted he won’t take the shots away from them completely, but rather allow them to build comfort with the shot by giving them wide-open looks instead of forcing them to take contested looks that don’t have a prayer finding the bottom of the net.
“We want to show belief and support and confidence in our players,” said Mermuys. “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.”
The Lakers will live with their two point guard shooting a sub-par percentage from deep, as long as the right people are taking the majority of them throughout the span of the regular season.
Swingman Lance Stephenson has been working on his 3-point shot this offseason, and by the looks of it, it’s looking pretty damn good — if he’s able to carry that stroke into the regular season, it should bode well for a team that ranked second-worst in the league in long-range shooting, with a woeful 34.5 percent from deep.