Expectations varied for the Los Angeles Lakers heading into the 2019-20 NBA season because although the team was able to swing the Anthony Davis blockbuster trade, it was still a question mark on how the rest of the roster would look playing next to him and LeBron James.
So far, it has been nothing short of a success as the Lakers have surpassed even the most optimistic projections and have vaulted themselves to the top of the Western Conference more than halfway through the season.
Davis has been the two-way force he has been since entering the league and has transformed Los Angeles from tough postseason out to legitimate championship contender.
After their win against the Phoenix Suns, Davis admitted that he and the rest of the locker room were confident in their ability to get to the 2020 NBA Finals as soon as they were assembled.
“We knew that when we put this team together. We felt like we were a championship team as soon as we put the team together and so we still have that confidence in our players. Just gotta get back to doing the things that we do, get back to playing defense like we did tonight and we’ll be fine,” Davis said.
“Most of the games that we’ve lost or had a hard time winning was because we haven’t played defense and we’re more than capable of being better defensively. We shown that kinda like the first half of the year, so we just gotta get back to being us.”
Los Angeles has suffered a bit of malaise in recent weeks as they have had to deal with the passing of Kobe Bryant, but also the marathon of a regular season has begun to settle in as well. Every team in the league experiences a lull in their play and the Lakers are currently in the midst of that stretch as they have not been as sharp as they were to start.
Despite that, their showing against the Suns should bring some comfort to fans as they were able to turn the game into an easy win thanks to their defensive effort and contributions from the bench. It is these types of performances that led many to believe that they could indeed win the 2020 NBA Finals.
With only one more game before the 2020 NBA All-Star Weekend, the purple and gold will need to come focused as they play a Denver Nuggets team who is still within striking distance of first in the conference.