The Los Angeles Lakers finally got Anthony Davis back just in time for an important two-game set with the Dallas Mavericks. Davis and Dennis Schroder looked prepared to do all they could to help bring the Lakers at least one win despite still missing the team’s most important piece in LeBron James.
This didn’t pan out, as the Lakers dropped both games and now sit just 1.5 games ahead of the No. 6 seeded Mavericks. The Lakers have made it clear they want to avoid the play-in tournament, and for now, appear to be in good position to do so. However, continuing to lose close games cannot be the formula.
Schroder spoke about the team’s plan over the final 12 games of the regular season. “We’re not starting from zero, I feel like. We just got to get everybody back,” Schroder said. “LeBron [James] is this close and then we’re going to use however many games we have left to get the chemistry right, get on the same page even probably some games in the playoffs. We’re going to be fine.
“You can’t make excuses. Myself, everybody in this locker room, coaches, whoever. We can’t make excuses. We just got to go out there for 48 minutes and win games. Injuries happen. We’re athletes it happens, but we got to have next-man mentality until the best player in the world comes back and helps us getting Ws again going forward to playoff time.”
Instead of making excuses, Schroder said the team’s mindset has to be on getting wins now even if they know things will be fine once the playoffs begin. “Getting Ws still even with people out. AD was in there the last two games but before then he was out and we still fought out there tried to get wins.
“It’s the same mindset. We got a few more games left until the playoffs. Everybody got to step it up. It starts with me. AD, everyone whoever comes in the game. Everybody just got to step it up now. We’re going to talk about it I think when Bron comes back. We’re going to have a conversation as a team because our chemistry like AD said off the floor is great, but on the court, we just got to turn it up some more. Like I said, we’re going to be fine but in the meantime, we still got to get wins.”
The Lakers have 12 games left in the regular season, and now enter into the easiest four-game stretch they’ll see the rest of the way. The Orlando Magic, Washington Wizards, Sacramento Kings and Toronto Raptors are all very beatable opponents, and L.A. desperately needs to capitalize and win at least three of them in order to keep their place in the standings.
While being the No. 6 seed still means avoiding the play-in tournament, it could force the Lakers to see the L.A. Clippers in the first round, something they likely want to stay away from.
Schroder thought poster dunk would help Lakers find rhythm
Midway through the fourth quarter, Schroder put down an emphatic dunk to give the Lakers an 85-83 lead. He then followed it up by getting a steal and as assist for a four-point lead with 7:44 to go in the game. From that point on, the Mavericks dominated, going on a 25-6 run to win the game by 15.
Schroder spoke about what he thought the dunk would bring to the team at the moment. “I thought so. I thought we had the momentum after that play, but like I said, in the second half we shot a lot of threes. We didn’t hit the paint too often, attack the basket.
“Luka [Doncic] picked us apart I think. Switched the coverage during halftime. It was tough. That’s on us and we got to do better in Orlando.”
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