This season has been a nightmare for the Los Angeles Lakers as despite having championship expectations, they sit outside the postseason picture at 31-46 with only five regular-season games to play.
Injuries have played a big role in the Lakers’ struggles, with both Anthony Davis and LeBron James missing significant time this season in addition to some other key players.
Both Davis and James returned for the Lakers’ game on Friday night against the New Orleans Pelicans knowing its importance. The Lakers needed to win that game to remain in position for a spot in the Play-In Tournament.
Instead though, the Lakers suffered yet another disappointing loss and now find themselves on the outside looking in. The Lakers will now essentially need to run the table if they want to make the Play-In Tournament,
While that will be a difficult task considering the Lakers haven’t even won back-to-back games since the beginning of January, Davis has not lost belief in his team.
“We have to believe. I don’t think it’s hope. We don’t play off of hope… We have to believe. I believe. I know this guy to my left believes and everyone in that locker room believes. We got to go out and get it done. We have to win these games. We have to have that approach,” Davis said after the loss to the Pelicans.
While believing in yourself is always good, now is the time that the belief actually has to turn into wins for the Lakers.
Davis discussed challenges of being out with injury
The Lakers’ ability to win games hinges on Davis being able to stay healthy and produce at a high level. Having missed significant time this season though, Davis discussed how challenging that has been for him.
“That’s a lot of ifs. We got enough to win basketball games when I’m not on the floor or Bron’s not the floor. We have a roster that is very talented. We just haven’t been able to put it all together, but it’s just frustrating not being out there. I want to be out there every game obviously with these guys. Just haven’t been able to, to be honest.
“I know these guys got a lot of fight. Like I say, they’ve done everything in their power to try to keep us in it. It motivates me from the sideline even more to try to get back as quickly as possible to be in this dog fight with these guys and we’re in a dog fight right now, especially in the last five. The situation we’re in losing the tiebreaker with San Antonio and New Orleans. We’re in a dog fight, which adds to the motivation.”
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