The Los Angeles Lakers, on Monday night, suffered their worst defeat of the 2023-24 season, a 138-94 drubbing at the hands of the Philadelphia 76ers. And it wasn't like the Lakers had many excuses as both LeBron James and Anthony Davis were healthy, which should give them a chance to win every night. But over the past few weeks, it has been evident that Davis, in particular, has not been his usual self, specifically on offense, and Joel Embiid and the Sixers simply exposed what has been a worrying trend for the Lakers star.
As Tom Haberstroh of Meadowlark Media pointed out, Davis has been shooting at a putrid level from 16 feet and out on the season. The Lakers star shot 0-for-2 from that distance against the Sixers, and through the first 17 games of the season, he has shot 6-for-31 (19.4 percent) from 16 feet and beyond. That definitely won't cut it for a Lakers team that's in dire need of elite production from him if they were to compete for a championship.
Anthony Davis has been especially putrid from the deep midrange, going 3-for-21 (14.3 percent) from 16 to 24 feet on the season, according to NBA.com. It seems like the version of Davis who played for the Lakers in the 2020 NBA Bubble is long gone, as that AD was simply a different beast on the block, an unstoppable force from midrange and near the rim with a dash of 3-point shooting sprinkled in. This maddening inconsistency from Davis is what makes him such a frustrating player to watch for Lakers fans.
At the very least, there is plenty of room for positive regression when it comes to Davis' shooting. Last season, from 16 feet and beyond, Davis shot 32.3 percent, so there's a chance that Davis has around 12 percentage points of improvement before the season ends. (During the Bubble, the Lakers star shot 47.2 percent from 16+ feet, but since then, he has lost his shooting touch.)
It didn't help matters that Davis had to face Joel Embiid, one of the best defenders in the league, so perhaps he could get things back on track when the Lakers face the team with the worst record in the NBA, the Detroit Pistons, on Wednesday night.