With the status of superstar LeBron James in question following a groin injury he suffered on Wednesday night, even more pressure will be put on big man Anthony Davis to lead the Los Angeles Lakers.
Even with LeBron on the court, the Lakers have struggled and now sit at 2-9 on the season. But the road will be even tougher if he has to miss some time.
But no one will have any sympathy for the Lakers and the team will need to take the floor and scratch out some wins whether or not their superstar is available. How they do so is unclear, but Davis believes that has to be the team’s mindset.
Speaking after Wednesday’s loss to the Clippers, Davis made it clear that whether or not LeBron is in the lineup, this Lakers team has to find ways to get some wins on the board, via Spectrum SportsNet:
“We still gotta try to get wins. Don’t know the status of his injury but try my best to do everything I could to stay on the floor so one of us is on the floor. We gotta wait to hear back, whatever the results say, but we gotta still come out and find ways to get wins whether he’s in the lineup or not.”
As for what Davis himself will focus on to help pick up the slack if James is out for any time, the big man spoke on the need for his leadership and aggression to come out even more:
“I just try to be more vocal and kinda just take on that role of being super aggressive. You still got me, Russ to kinda, the same way like we just did in Utah. But for me the mindset switches to going out being aggressive and trying to find ways to help the team win. Whether it’s more shots or, now it’s my job to make these guys better. It’s my job anyway, but it’s heightened when someone like Bron is out with everything he does on the floor.”
That attitude and aggression is something that has been called into question about Davis. His talent is undeniable, but it is the intangibles that some believe he lacks. LeBron brings a lot to the team with his playmaking and getting the most out of his teammates and now at least part of that onus has to fall on Davis.
The Lakers have always struggled when James misses time, which is to be expected with a player of his caliber. It will be on the entire team to pick up that slack if this groin injury is serious, but much of that pressure will undoubtedly fall on Davis and he understands and is ready to take that on.
Anthony Davis discusses differences in defensive role when playing center
While Davis may need to increase his offensive role even more should James be out due to injury, his biggest role is as the backbone of the Lakers’ defense. Defense is where Davis thrives most and he has done an admirable job this season despite being primarily playing the center position, which he does not prefer.
Davis recently broke down the differences in his role while playing center, noting that when he was playing forward, he was able to roam more on the weakside and help erase mistakes due to there being another big able to bang with the other team’s center.
But on this team, it is harder for Davis to do that as he is the primary big and is often the one being involved in pick-and-roll actions, making it more difficult to be as effective as he was in previous years.
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