In Game 1, Caldwell-Pope shot 2-of-9 overall and 1-of-7 from the perimeter, an uncharacteristic display from one of Los Angeles’ most consistent and lethal shooters.
He had several solid looks he usually converts, but the shots just didn’t drop. As a group, the Lakers shot 7-of-26 (26.9 percent) from deep in the loss.
The Lakers needed Caldwell-Pope to deliver an improved shooting performance to pair with his solid defense in Game 2, but he wasn’t fruitful.
All of his shots were 3-pointers as he finished 0-4 from the field for zero points, the only starter on L.A. not to hit double-digit points.
The consecutive poor outing resulted in a decrease in confidence for the 28-year-old guard, as he began passing up open looks for worse ones.
Late in the fourth quarter, Caldwell-Pope received a pass from James in the right wing for a good look as the shot clock almost expired, but he passed it up to Dennis Schroder in the right corner who missed the shot as Jae Crowder closed out.
When Phoenix called a timeout after rebounding Schroder’s miss, James went over to Caldwell-Pope on the sidelines and got in his ear about him needing to shoot the open shots.
After the game, Caldwell-Pope reposted the video and pictures of him and James on his Instagram story, writing, “Nothing but love and respect bro!!!”
Game 2 saw the Lakers shoot 30.3 percent (10-33) from 3-point range, improving from Game 1.
But getting Caldwell-Pope in rhythm again will help their shooting in future games, especially with the series heading to Staples Center — the first time since 2013 the Lakers will host a playoff game.