Anthony Davis: Lakers Are ‘Top Team In The NBA When 100% Healthy’
Anthony Davis, Lakers
Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers can’t get rid of their ill-fortune this season. In yet another loss, Thursday’s 118-94 defeat to the L.A. Clippers, the reigning NBA champions played over two quarters without Anthony Davis, who hurt himself before halftime.

Davis appeared to have twisted his ankle after falling to the ground near the LED boards on the sidelines. But L.A. listed back spasms as the reason why he would not come back to the game. Without Dennis Schroder, LeBron James, Talent Horton-Tucker and now Davis, the Lakers couldn’t overcome the 23-point deficit they finished the first half with, suffering a seventh loss in the last 10 games.

But the 28-year-old forward remains hopeful the tides will eventually turn for the Purple and Gold as they pursue a second straight title. “We know when we’re healthy the type of team we have,” he said. “We’ve seen it early in the year and that’s what we always revert back to. When we’re 100 percent healthy, we are the top team in the league, so we keep that in our minds.

“We know that we got a lot of things going on. Some of our players and guys know that, but when we get 100 percent healthy. Bron maybe has a week. Dennis [Schroder] has five-six days left or something. When we get everyone healthy, especially getting into the playoffs, we know the type of team that we are and I think the league knows what type of team we are. No matter if we got to play in the play-in game or we get fifth or sixth seed, we are ready to compete against anybody.”

Davis said he intends to play against the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday night, although it will depend on how his back responds. The All-Star added he hoped to see the Lakers bring back the hustle and determination they played with in the 93-89 victory over the Denver Nuggets last Monday. “We got to continue to defend being that defensive team that’s tenacious and scrappy,” he said.

“Play desperate like we did against Denver. If we do that, starting tomorrow night and for the rest of the X amount of games we have, we’ll find ourselves in a good position getting to the playoffs.”

Davis on potential play-in tournament participation: ‘We need games anyway’

Due to their disastrous form in recent weeks, the Lakers might be forced to battle for a playoffs spot through the play-in tournament. They fell down to sixth in the Western Conference and will face the seventh-placed Blazers – who hold the same record – on Friday.

The Lakers have long reiterated they didn’t worry about the play-in tournament. But now that it’s become a real possibility, Davis said L.A. will try to make the most of the opportunity if they happen to play the extra games. “We don’t look at it as something bad,” he said. “We need games to back accustomed to each other anyway.

“If it happens that way, it happens that way. Obviously, we don’t want to go that route, but if it happens, it happens. We’ll go win games in the play-in and get ready for whoever we play first round, and take care of business from there.

“We’re going to look at it as game reps and if not then we got a little bit more practice time to get accustomed to each other, so either way, like I said we know what type of team that we are.”

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