The new NBA season is now well underway, and there are some trends that are already unfolding after just a few games.
Usually, one week isn’t a good enough sample space to discern a whole lot, but there are a few things that are becoming apparent.
The Los Angeles Lakers Are In Trouble
Most knew the Lakers had a huge lack of 3-point shooting, but no one could’ve predicted how much trouble they’ve been having in that department in their first three games.
They have hit just 21.2 percent of their attempts from beyond the arc, which is last in the league, but it’s been even worse than that, as it’s been one of the worst three-game stretches ever in terms of 3-point shooting.
The Lakers are 25-118 from 3-point range through 3 games this season.
In NBA history, there have been over 6,100 instances of a team taking at least 100 threes over a 3-game span.
Their 21.2% is the second-lowest of any of them, only ahead of a span from the 2018 Hawks (21.0%). pic.twitter.com/rYOqTRmWYB
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) October 23, 2022
The Lakers will almost certainly warm up from the outside at some point, but they will need an infusion of 3-point shooting in order to solidify a playoff spot.
The Portland Trail Blazers Have Been Impressive
Not too many people were expecting the Blazers to make the playoffs when this season began, but it’s starting to look like they may make it there.
They’re 4-0 to start the year, and that includes two impressive victories over the Phoenix Suns and Denver Nuggets, both of whom are championship contenders.
Damian Lillard is averaging 33.3 points per game while shooting well, and after a down year in terms of his efficiency last season, he may be back to his old self.
The Take Foul Rule Seems To Be Paying Off
Over the last year or two, a growing number of teams and players were committing “take” fouls, where they would intentionally foul a player with the ball to stop a fast break.
That type of foul now carries a stiff penalty, and as a result, the pace of the game has picked up in the early going of the season, as has scoring across the NBA.