The Los Angeles Lakers are already in a tough spot at the start of the 2022-23 season, losing all of their first three games with another week of difficult matchups ahead.
The Lakers face the Denver Nuggets twice between Wednesday and Sunday in addition to a clash with the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday. The Purple and Gold will hope their defense — which ranks second in the NBA — can keep them competitive even as they are trying to revive their offense.
Going into Wednesday’s game against the Nuggets, L.A. scores the second-lowest number of points per game and is the only NBA team with an offensive rating below 100.
And in an interview with ESPN’s Dave McMenamin, Anthony Davis said the Lakers are aware their results need to improve soon — but added the Purple and Gold need to remain calm and patient as they work to fix their issues:
“Obviously, there’s some sense of urgency,” Davis said after practice. “You don’t want to dig yourself too big of a hole. But we’ve got to stay even-keeled. We can’t get rattled or flustered and things like that. Just like if we win 12 in a row. We don’t want to get too high.”
Putting a positive spin on the disappointing first week of 2022-23, Davis said the Lakers would rather deal with adversity now that in the final phase of the season:
“We think all this ‘adversity’ is going to be good for us,” Davis said. “We’re glad it’s happening in October and not March or April. But we’ll make shots, continue to defend how we’re defending, and try to go in [Wednesday] and Friday and get a win.”
Davis himself has been in good form, averaging 24.7 points and 8.0 rebounds, and shooting 50.9% from the field. The 29-year-old is also registering 2.7 steals and 2.3 blocks per game as he again looks like the perennial Defensive Player of the Year favorite he used to be.
LeBron James encouraged by Lakers’ defensive effort
The Lakers’ defense has been the biggest reason to believe the Purple and Gold can turn their fortunes around. Thanks to the steals and blocks they rack up, L.A. put up a fight against the L.A. Clippers and nearly won the most recent matchup with the Portland Trail Blazers.
LeBron James has been encouraged by the team’s defensive effort, particularly as it hasn’t waned as the shooting woes continue.
“Well, it hasn’t all year. For the first three games, it hasn’t,” James said. “We still can’t shoot a penny in the ocean but it hasn’t stopped us from competing and defending. That’s given us a chance in all three games to win.”
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!