The 2022-23 NBA season has already sprung a number of surprises since the October tip-off, one of them being the Los Angeles Lakers’ awful start to the new campaign.
Many doubted the Lakers had enough talent on the roster to compete for the 2022-23 championship. However, L.A.’s worst nightmares came true when the NBA returned with the Purple and Gold winning just three of their first 13 games, earning them the third-worst record in the league.
The Lakers remain near the bottom of the standings despite ending a five-game losing streak on Sunday with a 116-103 victory over the Brooklyn Nets. Anthony Davis helped the team get back in the win column with a dominant 37-point performance, adding 18 rebounds along the way.
The Lakers enjoy a four-day break before coming out for their next game, Friday’s matchup against the Detroit Pistons. Combined with some extra rest, Davis hopes the win over Brooklyn heralds better days for the Purple and Gold. “Yeah, I mean, that’s the plan. You know, we wanted to win tonight for sure,” the 29-year-old said after the clash with the Nets.
“Make it let us feel good going into this off week before Friday’s game and some good practices and days off, let guys get healthy. We got some guys banged up and have four days to get healthy.
“Hopefully, Bron and some other guys get to come back. And, you know, we go on the road from here. So I think it’s good that we got this win. Give a chance for guys to kind of get away from the game for a couple of days and you know, reset and come back with a mentality that we got to run some off in a row.”
Davis added the win proves that the Lakers are “a team of fighters” who are trying to get better every day. “We’re a team that’s scrappy,” he said. “We got back to our defensive ways tonight. And we’ve been pretty good defensively all year.
“The difference of last year with a lot of guys who had a lot of experience with IQ — sometimes we kind of, you know, shoot shots that’s first and third-quarter shots in the fourth quarter, and it kind of gets us sometimes or might try to go attack the basket when we need to pull the ball out and run a set.
“So, I think that’s the only difference. But guys are learning. We’re continuously coaching the younger guys to know, like, this is when you do this or make this read, and talking to them, and then they’re learning on the fly.”
Davis also said the pressure that comes with donning purple and gold can make less experienced players nervous, suggesting it might have contributed to the Lakers’ slow start.
“Some of these guys have never been in this situation, especially coming here,” Davis said. “Spotlight’s a little different, so we try to try to help them out in that regard, and they keep learning every day.”
Thomas Bryant & Dennis Schroder might make Lakers season debuts on Friday
Injuries have been another likely factor behind L.A.’s poor performance in the first month of the season. LeBron James has missed games with illness and an adductor strain. Back issues have held back Anthony Davis and delayed Troy Brown Jr.’s season debut.
Meanwhile, Thomas Bryant and Dennis Schroder are yet to play their first 2022-23 game after both had thumb surgery in the preseason. However, Lonnie Walker IV has revealed Bryant and Schroder should be available to play on Friday.
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