Anthony Davis: ‘Defensive Intensity’ Is Key To Lakers Defeating Pelicans In Play-In Tournament
Anthony Davis, Zion Williamson, Lakers, Pelicans
Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers are a team that prides themselves on being dominant defensively and Anthony Davis is the key to that. The big man is truly one of the best and most versatile defensive weapons in the NBA and the New Orleans Pelicans know very well what he is capable of.

Davis was dominant in the regular season finale, controlling the paint and finishing with 30 points, 11 rebounds and two steals in the Lakers win. But now the two teams will turn right around and face each other in the Play-In Tournament with the winner being the seventh seed in the Western Conference.

As far as Davis is concerned, the key to the Lakers repeating the final outcome on Tuesday is to maintain that defensive intensity they had on Sunday, via Spectrum SportsNet:

“Just our defensive intensity. Obviously we made some shots tonight but what we can control is our defensive intensity, how we came out shooting to start the game and just attacking. If we continue to play how we played today defensively, we’ll have enough confidence going into Tuesday’s game to try to do everything we can to get the win.”

The Lakers forced 19 turnovers from the Pelicans as they didn’t let them find any sort of rhythm offensively. With LeBron James taking on the challenge of guarding Zion Williamson, and Davis always looming at the rim, the Lakers were able to hold New Orleans under 30 points in each of the first three quarters.

But for as good as their performance was on both sides, Davis feels the team needs to forget about and focus on where they can be even better on Tuesday:

“We just got to come in, flush this one, watch the film tomorrow and try to figure out ways we can be better I think on the defensive end. Offensively I think we were pretty good tonight, but on the defensive end I think is where we can be better.”

The worst thing the Lakers can do is be too confident after a strong victory against this same team. New Orleans is going to go to the drawing board and come back with a different plan on how to attack and defeat the Lakers. If they don’t heed Davis’ words and come out focused and ready to go, it could be a long night for the Lakers.

Lakers’ Anthony Davis not concerned about back issue, expects to play vs. Pelicans

One thing that could make for an even longer night is Anthony Davis not being able to play because of a back issue that forced him out late on Sunday. But the Lakers big man isn’t concerned at all and has every intention of suiting up in the Play-In Tournament.

Davis said that his back locked up after being pushed while in the air from Pelicans big Larry Nance Jr. Davis made it clear that he didn’t feel it was a dirty play but will get whatever treatment is needed to be on the court and at his best for the rematch on Tuesday.

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