“We don’t have the luxury of being that team…” LeBron James SLAMS rival coaches complaining about Lakers shooting free throws

The Los Angeles Lakers are ranked sixth, with 24.3 attempts per game, in free throws this season.

“We don’t have the luxury of being that team…” LeBron James SLAMS rival coaches complaining about Lakers shooting free throws

LeBron James (via Open Source/X)

LeBron James, the standout player for the Los Angeles Lakers, reflected on the team’s loss to the Phoenix Suns on Sunday. He addressed the ongoing narrative surrounding their performance and the frequency of their trips to the free-throw line.

James’ observation holds true, given that the Lakers currently rank at the bottom of the NBA this season in 3-point attempts per game (30.8) over their initial 59 games. Los Angeles frequently drives to the rim, leveraging players such as James, Anthony Davis, Austin Reaves, and others who excel at attacking the basket.

A lot of coaches, a lot of teams [say], 'Thats all the Lakers do is get to free-throw line.' That's the narrative out there. … I mean we have attackers. That's what we do. … We're not shooting 40-50 3s a game. We're not that team. We don't have the luxury of being that team. So, working it into the paint, that's what we're really good at.
James in the post-game locker-room interview

This season, the Suns actually outpace the Lakers in free-throw attempts per game, ranking No. 4 in the league with 25.2 attempts, while the Lakers come in at No. 6 with 24.3 attempts per game. It’s evident that James was displeased with the scarcity of calls in favor of Los Angeles during Sunday’s defeat. With the Lakers’ record dropping to 31-28 for the season, landing them as the No. 10 seed in the Western Conference, the team faces a challenging position.

It’s essential that the Lakers remain committed to their style of basketball despite a game where they didn’t get to the free-throw line as frequently as usual. Given their lesser reliance on the 3-point shot compared to other teams. With a few days off to rest and regroup before facing the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday night, followed by a back-to-back against the Washington Wizards on Thursday, LeBron James and the Lakers have a chance to refocus and bounce back.

LeBron James makes case for Anthony Davis after Lakers brutal loss to the Suns

In the aftermath of a challenging 123-113 defeat against the Phoenix Suns on Sunday, LeBron James openly addressed the Lakers’ difficulties on the defensive glass. He emphasized the importance of guards supporting Anthony Davis to secure rebounds after defensive stops, acknowledging the need for collective effort in this aspect of the game.

LeBron James and Anthony Davis
LeBron James and Anthony Davis (Credits: The Hill)

He said via Daniel Starkand of Lakers Nation:

They spread your defense out a lot so you're out on the perimeter a lot, you're contesting a lot of threes. We got to do a better job as the guards and forwards of coming back and trying to crash to help AD. There's a lot of long rebounds, a lot of rebounds went over AD's head and Nurk was able to push him up underneath the rim and get the majority of his offensive rebounds. So we'll do a better of that going forward. But we've been better with that as of late, today it hurt us. But we've been better.

With the loss to the Suns, the Lakers’ overall record fell to 31-28, leaving them tied for 10th place in the Western Conference alongside the Golden State Warriors. Despite this, they maintain a four-game lead over the Utah Jazz for the final Play-In Tournament berth.

In case you missed it: