Lakers

McLemore Provides Possible Resurgence to Lakers’ Offense

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The Los Angeles Lakers have added another spark to their offense, inking sharpshooter Ben McLemore for the rest of the season.

The news broke shortly before the team played the Toronto Raptors last Monday night. The Lakers’ offense has seen a steep drop-off without all-stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis. As expected, the team has dropped to 23rd in points per game since the King went down.

Conversely, however, the Lakers maintained their standing as the league’s best defense, which has allowed them to remain somewhat afloat, going 5-7 without their two stars.

McLemore, who only played 32 games this season before signing with LA, should have fresh legs and the hunger to want to contribute to an already-struggling bunch.

The Lakers have been vulnerable lately. Thankfully, McLemore has arrived to provide a possible offensive resurgence to a team desperate for some.

Bench Spark

With the Houston Rockets, McLemore averaged seven points and two rebounds. This figure doesn’t make him sound like a great offensive player, but the veteran sharpshooter can be a spot-up three-point specialist, which fits right into a LeBron-ran offense. Ben is a career 41% three-point shooter, which includes shooting over 40% from beyond the arc last season.

In the meantime, McLemore will be tasked with creating his own shot. He shoots north of 36% for his career and can take his defender off the dribble if needed. McLemore is a high-flyer too, who can play above the rim with ease. Lastly, the seven-year pro also allows Kentavious Caldwell-Pope to rest instead of staying on with the second unit.

In his first game with the Lakers, Ben scored six points and grabbed two rebounds in the loss. In his second game — Saturday night against the Brooklyn Nets — he displayed his talents spectacularly.

McLemore relished his role off the bench, dropping 17 points in 23 minutes of play. This performance included shooting an efficient 6-12 from the field and 5-10 from beyond the arc– a welcomed sight for King James.

Possible Lockdown Defender

McLemore can match up against the other team’s best wing player at six feet and three inches tall with great athleticism. His defensive versatility would allow LeBron not to work as hard if LA meets the Phoenix Suns, Los Angeles Clippers or the Utah Jazz in the playoffs. Those matchups would be guarding Devin Booker, Paul George or Donovan Mitchell. By no means is McLemore an All-NBA defender, but he can defend and slow down some of the more athletic wing players in the league.

Along with KCP, McLemore can form a great tandem of defensive guards. When one would need a hiatus from the game, the other can enter and provide the same defensive stability. B-Mac also has the length to disrupt passing lanes and create more steals for fast breaks. Having a versatile defender like McLemore’s rise from the bench will only solidify this already stout Lakers’ defense.

Role Going Forward

Since the Lakers signed McLemore, they must feel comfortable with his role on the team moving forward. His job now, compared to when James and Davis are back, will look different. Ben should seek his shot within the offense and treat this time as a tryout to earn more minutes. He can also be instant offense off the bench as the team struggles to find scoring in their second unit.

If McLemore takes and makes his three-point shots at an efficient rate, the Lakers will become one of the most feared three-point shooting teams in the NBA.

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About Gabriel Mungaray

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