The Los Angeles Lakers suffered a bitter end to their preseason as Thursday’s 116-112 loss to the Sacramento Kings means they officially failed to win a single game in the lead-up to the 2021-22 season.
Anthony Davis struggled in Sacramento, shooting just 27.8% from the field and ending the night 5-for-18. However, he helped the Lakers dominate the glass, accounting for 12 of the team’s 56 rebounds.
Although the 28-year-old forward registered arguably his worst game of the preseason, he remains optimistic ahead of the Oct. 19 season opener against the Golden State Warriors. “I felt good,” he said.
“That’s what the preseason is for. Try to be in a rhythm and that’s why I wanted to play a majority of the games. Played five out of six. Trying to find that rhythm. I think overall, I felt a great rhythm. Shooting the basketball, conditioning, defensive tendencies, and things like that. I feel good going into Opening Night.”
Davis thinks that the six straight preseason losses paint a distorted picture of how the Lakers actually performed over the last couple of weeks.
“When we look back at film, you think you played bad,” he said. “But you actually played pretty well despite a loss or a win.
“Every day we go in film, Coach showed us positive things. The way we moved the ball, the way we cut. The plays we’re making just randomly, so we’re encouraged by everything that we do. We have spurts where we look really good. … But the thing we can get better is obviously defense. Defensively we can get a lot better.
“New guys trying to play in a new system and the old guys trying to get acclimated to the new guys, who are trying to get acclimated to a new system. But we’re going to chip away at it every day.”
LeBron James and Russell Westbrook echoed his All-Star teammate. The latter downplayed the losing streak, saying that he had paid little attention to preseason record over the course of his 13-year NBA career.
James emphasizes Lakers’ improving chemistry
James points out that the Lakers looked more and more like a team with every preseason quarter played, which he thinks made for the biggest takeaway of the run-in to the new campaign.
“I think we built our chemistry as the games went on and on and on,” he said.
“We’re starting to learn each other, try to learn each other every quarter, every time we were out on the floor. So that was the biggest thing that we can build from the games that we played.”
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