The Los Angeles Lakers‘ 2022-23 season has been far from ideal as the team is off to a 3-10 start which has them on a path to the lottery.
The season is still young though and the Lakers have time to turn it around if they correct their mistakes. L.A. played perhaps its best all-around game of the season on Sunday night when they beat Kevin Durant and the Brooklyn Nets without LeBron James in the lineup.
Even though the Lakers only have three wins, there are still things to be learned from them that will allow L.A. to have more success moving forward. So with that being said, let’s examine what the Lakers’ “winning formula” is moving forward with this roster.
This one isn’t rocket science as it’s been a topic of discussion all year. But for the Lakers to win games, they have to at least shoot at a respectable level.
The Lakers’ roster was not designed to excel at 3-point shooting which has led to teams leaving them wide open and packing the paint. At the end of the day though, even if shooting isn’t your strength, you have to be able to knock down open shots to keep the defense honest.
In the Lakers’ three wins, they’ve actually shot the ball well at 36.5% from 3. In their losses though, they’ve shot just 28.9% and overall their 30.7 3-point percentage is the worst in the NBA.
We’re not expecting the Lakers to increase their season 3-point percentage to 36.5%, which would rank 12th in the league (so around middle-of-the-pack), but if they could get their overall percentage up to around 33% then that would lead to a lot more wins.
It would also open up driving lanes for James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook, which is when this team is at its best.
Take care of the ball
The Lakers have also been one of the worst teams in the league when it comes to turnovers at 14.3 per game. Turning the ball over often provides fastbreak opportunities for the opposing team, not allowing your defense to get set while also not allowing you to get a shot up offensively.
With the Lakers’ lack of shooting, they cannot afford to be giving teams free buckets in transition as much as they have.
In two of their wins though, L.A. only had nine turnovers apiece and it obviously led to more success on both ends of the floor.
Go on run in second quarter and avoid disaster third quarter
The Lakers have been the best second-quarter team in the NBA this season, carrying an incredible 20.0 net rating. The only problem? As good as they’ve been in second quarters, they’ve been equally as bad in the third-quarter with a -19.3 net rating.
In the Lakers’ three wins, they outscored the Denver Nuggets by nine, New Orleans Pelicans by 16 and Nets by five in the second quarter. That isn’t much different than a lot of their other games. The difference in the wins though was that they actually came out with energy in the third and didn’t give it all back.
The Pelicans game is the exception to this as they were outscored by nine points in the third to allow New Orleans to get back in the game. That one very well could have led to a loss though if not for a buzzer-beating 3 by Matt Ryan to send it to overtime.
If L.A. can figure out how to consistently come out of the halftime locker room with intensity and avoid those typical third-quarter lulls then that would go a long way in increasing that win total.