After what has been a difficult season after a 2-10 start, the Los Angeles Lakers have finally worked their way back to .500 at 37-37, putting themselves in the thick of the Western Conference playoff race.
One of the reasons for the Lakers’ recent resurgence has been the moves they made at the trade deadline, subtracting controversial players like Russell Westbrook and Patrick Beverley for young complementary players like D’Angelo Russell, Jarred Vanderbilt and Malik Beasley.
Beverley was traded to the Orlando Magic for Mo Bamba and was later waived, eventually signing with his hometown Chicago Bulls. Although Beverley expressed appreciation to the Lakers organization at first after being traded, he later said that he wants to knock them out of the playoffs.
Beverley will get his chance in the next couple of games as the Lakers host the Bulls on Sunday afternoon, and then the two teams will square off again in Chicago on Wednesday.
Anthony Davis was made aware of Beverley’s comments about wanting to knock him and the Lakers out of the playoffs, and he is excited about the challenge.
“That’s fine. He can come try,” Davis said. “A lot of people have tried. We’ll see Sunday. Sunday and Wednesday. Got one here and got one there.”
Although they will be competing against each other this week and tempers may flare, Davis did say he enjoyed his short time as teammates with Beverley.
“It was great. Pat is Pat. If you don’t know Pat, then you don’t know Pat. I expect nothing less from anything that Pat Bev said. I’ve known him outside of basketball. Obviously, we’re both from the same city, but that’s what he wants. He has no filter. He’s going to say how he feels. We don’t look too deep into it. But I love seeing this. You know, it’s funny to me. Like I said, I know him though. So it’s Pat being Pat.”
Beverley has always enjoyed playing against the Lakers, so his comments after being traded were not surprising.
There’s no doubt he will be coming out with extra intensity on Sunday and Wednesday, so the Lakers will need to do the same given the importance of these games.
Russell day-to-day after aggravating hip
It remains to be seen if the Lakers will have Russell when they take the court next as he missed Friday night’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder with a sore hip.
Darvin Ham says Russell will be day-to-day moving forward but didn’t sound too worried about him missing significant time.
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