Anthony Davis has been back in the Los Angeles Lakers lineup for five games now, and he still isn’t quite at his best. After a two-month absence, it wasn’t expected that he would hit the ground running. However, he is only averaging 17.4 points and 6.2 rebounds while shooting 41% from the field and 20% from three.
It’s a small sample size, but it’s very clear he doesn’t have his rhythm back yet. And with only nine games left until the playoffs begin — and the Lakers needing to get some wins — there has to be some concern as to how quickly he can get that back.
Davis isn’t particularly worried, as he feels he’s just a couple of games away. “A couple more games,” Davis said. “I got my legs back where I played an entire third quarter for the first time since the injury.
“So I’m getting my legs back, shots are gonna fall, starting to get my quickness back a little bit on defense, block shots, protecting the rim, rebounds, things like that. So starting to get back to my old self so it felt good, it felt good to kind of get into that rhythm on both ends of the floor. Would’ve been even better with a win though.”
David reiterated that the Lakers want to avoid the play-in game, but said that the lack of practice means that the regular season games are functioning in that way. “I mean, obviously we don’t want to be in that situation. We’re not gonna have a lot of practices, especially this last in the season, you probably walk through some things and things like that but you’re not gonna go out with a two-hour practice and things like that.
“So our practice is the games and even though we don’t want to lose, we do want to take a step in the right direction every time we step on the floor to gain some momentum going into the playoffs. But it really doesn’t matter where we are, we’re very confident in ourselves, we know what our team is capable of. We know that once we reach the playoffs it’s a different story but we’re still trying to get adjusted to each other. But I think for the most part we’re using these games as our practices and still trying to figure each other out.”
If he is going to struggle and drop games because of it, Davis said he would rather have it now than in the postseason. “I’ll just say this: I would rather go through it now than in the playoffs where it takes 3-4 games, now that’s a whole series and we can lose that series.”
“I would rather go through it now in the regular season that way going into the playoffs we’re back adjusted to one another, we’re accustomed to each other and we’re rolling. So even though it sucks to lose, I would rather find our way now, find out path now with each other than having to go through it in the playoffs.”
With Davis — and now LeBron James — back in the lineup, the next nine games are about getting wins and remembering how to play with one another. If they can do that while avoiding the play-in tournament, L.A. still poses the biggest threat to opposing Western Conference teams.
If they do slip into the playoff game, it will only make things that much harder as they look to repeat as champions under the most difficult of circumstances.
Drummond says Lakers need more on court time
It’s clear from within the organization and from the outside that the Lakers are not a finished product. Andre Drummond believes they just need more time together.
“I don’t think anything will take much work,” Drummond said. “I think it’s just playing. Playing together and being on the same court and having that time to really get to gel and to be on the same court at the same time and just figure each other out.”
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