Anthony Davis Thanked Lakers’ New Players For Helping Turn Season Around
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The way the Los Angeles Lakers have turned around their 2022-23 season has been nothing short of historic. In fact, they are the sixth team in NBA history to start 2-10 or worse and finish with an above .500 record. They have guaranteed themselves a spot in the Play-In Tournament and are likely to host the No. 7-No. 8 game.

A lot of this turnaround can be credited to the Lakers superstar Anthony Davis. He missed a month due to a stress reaction in his right foot but has been dominant in most of the games he’s played. Davis scored at least 30 points 20 times this season, has 39 games with at least 10 rebounds and 18 games with at least three blocks.

But Davis is not one to take credit for a turnaround of this magnitude. Instead, he credited the team around him for stepping up and finding a rhythm in the latter half of the season.

“We’ve been in a really good groove. I mean, obviously, there’s a lot at stake, a lot on the line for us,” Davis said. “So we have no choice but to find a rhythm and find a groove as a team. We’ve been able to do that and win some basketball games without practicing and getting reps with each other.

“Our practice has been games, and we’ve been able to figure it out on the fly. Our basketball IQ and understanding is pretty high. So even though practices have been eliminated, we’ve been able to communicate and talk about things that we want to do on the floor on both ends and been able to execute it at a high level and the result has been victories.”

Davis joked that he and some other players got the chance to thank the new additions for helping to turn things around and propel the Lakers to a potential postseason berth.

“Yeah, the way we started, 0-5, 1-5, 2-5 and 2-10, who would’ve thought we’d finish the season above .500,” Davis said. “We were joking with some of the other guys. We were pointing to some guys saying ‘we thank y’all’ because we were going that way to start the season. We just kept pushing and kept grinding, and obviously those guys were able to come in here and help us get some wins and ultimately finish above .500.”

The trade deadline acquisitions of Rui Hachimura, D’Angelo Russell, Jarred Vanderbilt, Malik Beasley and Mo Bamba have helped not only with their talent, but to bring balance to a roster that desperately needed it. They are 17-9 since the day of the trade deadline, including a game that only featured nine active players.

Now, the Lakers have a chance to battle it out in the Play-In Tournament to earn a spot in the postseason.

LeBron James proud of season turnaround

Lakers star LeBron James had a similar reaction to Davis when talking about the improbable turnaround for the team this season.

“I was just telling AD, I was like ‘Man, can you believe that we’re going to finish this season above .500 after everything that’s gone on this season?’ We turned this thing around,” James said. “It’s the regular season, obviously, and there’s more basketball to be played, but to know that we’re going to finish a few games above .500 is pretty cool.”

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