Kobe Bryant is now the only player to win the NBA title in each of the last two seasons, but that’s not the case with the league’s reigning MVP.
The two-time MVP has had to contend with a team that’s ranked in the top-10 in offensive efficiency, scoring and points per possession each of his three seasons, and one that’s averaged more than 300 points per 100 possessions over the past three seasons.
And the Lakers have to contend, too, as they’re averaging an NBA-worst 106.3 points per game and shooting 47.8 percent.
The numbers tell a story: The Lakers are averaging 110.4 points per contest, the third-highest mark in the league, and they’re on pace to finish the season with the most points scored in a season since they were in the NBA in 1946-47.
And, as Bryant pointed out during his MVP presentation, they’re also averaging the second-most rebounds, assists and steals.
That’s a testament to the team’s depth, versatility and offensive potential.
“It’s a team with so much talent and talent around the rim,” said Bryant, who’s leading the NBA with 37 triple-doubles this season.
“We have a lot of great players.
We have guys who can go in there and play big, guys who are able to play at the high-level level that we all want to play in the playoffs.”
So what makes the Lakers so effective?
Here’s a look at five key factors that can help them achieve that level of success: 1.
Kobe Bryant and the Lakers are among the league leaders in three-pointers made per game This is a statistic that has been trending downward in recent years.
Bryant’s scoring average is at or near his career-low mark of 10.2 points per shot (the Lakers were last in the 2012-13 season with a mark of 8.3), but his average per game is down to 4.4 per game, the lowest mark since he’s been in the League.
That makes him the league leader in three pointers made per 48 minutes.
Bryant has also led the league in three points per play (he’s scored at least 20 points in four of the past five seasons) and three steals per game (he has two steals in each game this season).
His team is averaging just under 14 points per 200 possessions (fourth in the Eastern Conference), which is good for the fourth-best mark in basketball.
The Lakers’ offense is also scoring at a league-best clip in all three categories, and the team is also averaging over 20 points per 96 possessions.
That means the Lakers can take advantage of the opportunities they create off the bounce, whether it’s by getting a fast-break dunk or finding an open man.
Bryant and his teammates have become a team built around offense, and that’s why he’s on pace for his second MVP award.
The offense is getting better with each passing season As the Lakers get older, they become more efficient at playing the fast break and finding shooters around the basket.
Bryant is averaging 1.9 assists per game this year (second-highest on the team behind fellow All-Star Klay Thompson), which ranks in the middle of the pack for players in his age group.
But he’s also making more three-point shots per game than ever before (1.9 per game in 2015-16, up from 1.3 in 2014-15).
Bryant is making more shots on the bounce this season, too.
According to NBA.com, the Lakers rank fifth in the entire NBA in three point percentage at 46.7 percent, which is third in the Association behind only the Philadelphia 76ers (55.1 percent) and Brooklyn Nets (52.6).
Kobe Bryant has a career high in 3-point percentage (44.2) and the second most three-pointer attempts per game on the NBA (7.8) in 2016-17.
The offensive rebounding is at an all-time high The Lakers rank among the top 10 in the Conference in defensive rebounding percentage (10.9), which measures the number of defensive rebounds a team has to convert to a win.
It also gives the Lakers a chance to be one of the few teams in the East to finish a season with two more wins than the next-highest team.
That would be the Miami Heat, who have won 11 of their past 13 games, and would put the Lakers just behind them in the standings.
The Miami Heat have a .625 winning percentage, which would put them fifth in this category.
The top three teams in this stat are the Philadelphia Warriors (0.942), Miami Heat (0) and New Orleans Pelicans (0).
Kobe has been able to run the team at an efficient pace The Lakers have been among the best offenses in the Western