Even though the Los Angeles Lakers’ season has gotten off to a rough start, Anthony Davis’ confidence has not wavered that they can turn things around.
After the Lakers’ triple-overtime loss to the Sacramento Kings, Davis proclaimed that a 10-game winning streak was on the way to change the narrative surrounding the team. And while they still have a long way to go, the Lakers took a step in that direction by responding with a win over the Detroit Pistons on Sunday night.
While Davis wasn’t satisfied with how the Lakers closed out the victory, he maintains that they’re on track for a long win streak and the next step is getting some revenge on the Kings on Tuesday night.
“Yeah. We have a great group of guys. We have a good team, it showed tonight. Late in the game, a ton of miscues defensively on our end, but for the most part we played a hell of a game on both ends of the ball,” Davis said. “That Sacramento game kind of lingered with us for a couple days, giving that game away. But we do see them in a couple days, Tuesday, so we can get that payback. But like I said last game, we have a team to be able to run off several games in a row. We have to do it starting defensively. I think we did a good job defensively tonight getting this kickstart to our winning streak.
Part of what made the Lakers successful against the Pistons, and could be the key to success moving forward, was going to smaller lineups with either Davis or LeBron James at center.
Davis explained the benefits that can come from lineups of that nature.
“When I’m at the five and LeBron is at the four, we can switch all over the floor. All pick-and-rolls, pin downs, whatever, we can just switch it. When we have another big out there, we usually just do four-fives. It worked well for us tonight, DJ [Deandre Jordan] with his vertical spacing, rim protection. I think my role just changes a little bit if I’m at the four or if I’m at the five.
“I think my two threes came when DJ was at the five because I play on the perimeter and let him be down there. We don’t want two big men clogging the paint when these guys are attacking. When I’m at the five, that’s usually me in DJ’s spot then Melo is usually the other guy out there who is spacing the floor. It just all depends on what we’re looking for. I think both have helped us win games this year. It’s up to Coach [Vogel] to decide what he wants to continue to go with.”
Davis expects to continue shooting threes
A big struggle for Davis this season has been shooting as he is currently at just 20.5% from deep, although he had one of his best games from that respect against the Pistons by knocking down both of his attempts from three.
While many people want him to stop shooting threes, Davis explained why that’s not gonna happen.
“Shooting. Just confidence. Staying with it. Long season. I’m going to continue to shoot the ball from three whether it goes in or not. I think that opens up the floor for my teammates, for Bron, Russ, Talo [Talen Horton-Tucker] to get downhill. And it opens it up for me to get into the paint when guys are running out, closing out to the three. Just trying to be effective on all three levels of the floor. It was going for me tonight.”
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