The Los Angeles Lakers begin a six-game road trip that should allow them to gauge their form and measure the progress they have made since the start of the 2022-23 season.
After registering a 2-10 record to begin the campaign, the Lakers won six of their eight next games. During that spell, L.A. has been the fifth-most efficient team in the NBA, outscoring their rivals by 8.7 points per 100 possessions.
Anthony Davis says he feels the Purple and Gold are “right where they need to be” ahead of the nine-day road trip. “I think this team is starting to gel on both sides of the floor,” he says after Wednesday’s win over the Portland Trail Blazers.
“We had a good conversation yesterday about our late game execution after what happened on Monday [against the Indiana Pacers] and we executed tonight towards the end of the game. So I think we’re just slowly chipping away.
“We know how good we are, but we got to produce on the floor. So just staying together, staying locked in, and just trying to take it one game at a time.”
During the road trip, the Lakers will face a few top Eastern Conferences teams, including the Milwaukee Bucks, Toronto Raptors, and Philadelphia 76ers. Going up against the title favorites in such a short period of time should give the Purple and Gold an idea about how competitive they currently are.
Davis says the Lakers are approaching the difficult matchups with confidence in their abilities. “I feel like we’re comfortable enough to go in and feel like we can beat any team,” he says.
“But we have to do it on the defensive end, kind of like what we did tonight. They had some big quarters, 42 in the second quarter, but I think we were locked in defensively. We were getting guys to shoot that we wanted to shoot and they made shots, you tip your hat to them.
“But these teams that we’re playing coming up on the road trip are some of the top teams in the East so we got to come out and do it defensively.”
Davis wants Lakers to register positive record over road trip
Despite Davis’ confidence ahead of the road trip, the 29-year-old forward says collecting wins will be a challenge, particularly considering how competitive today’s NBA is. However, he still wants the Lakers to rack up more wins than losses before returning to L.A.
“Above .500,” he says. “What do we have, six [games]? I say above .500. I’d say all of the games are winnable. Nothing is given out in the NBA, anything can happen.
“You want to win all of the games obviously but I think if we come out above .500, we can consider that a successful trip,” he adds.
The Lakers are currently 13th in the Western Conference with an 8-12 record.
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