Anthony Davis — through his first few games of the season — was not playing at the level that was expected of the eighth year superstar. Because of that, and a number of other factors, the Lakers were just 3-2 through five games with Davis averaging under 20 points per.
However, L.A.’s Friday night win against the San Antonio Spurs saw an explosion from Davis in what was by far his best performance of the young season.
He helped carry a Lakers team struggling to score with 34 points, 11 rebounds and five assists on 13-for-26 from the field and 4-for-6 from 3-point range. The Spurs were simply unable to stop Davis from doing whatever he wanted, and it was key to the Lakers winning in a close battle.
Davis spoke about his performance, specifically reaching six 3-pointers attempted, and what that unlocks for him and his teammates. “I’m very comfortable,” Davis said of shooting more frequently from distance.
“I work on it all the time with Mike P., just constantly putting in reps and then getting in the game, letting it fly and being comfortable with everything I do in drills and applying it to the game. Coach wants me to average at least five a game this year.
“I have a lot of good looks that sometimes I pass up for a better shoot, but I’ve just got to shoot them. Any time I shoot a high volume I usually shoot pretty well from the field. I can’t let missing one or two affect my thought process of shooting them. I’ve got to continue to shoot them, knowing it will help open the floor for guys like ‘Bron and Dennis.”
Head coach Frank Vogel reiterated his hope for Davis to continue shooting threes at a high volume, noting that player growth is not just for youngsters. “We want him to shoot them. He’s shooting the ball extremely well all over the floor,” Vogel said.
“If we’re going to play most of our minutes — which we are right now — with him at the 4, it’s important to be a floor spacer and carry that threat. Player development applies to all players on the team, not just the young players. We want guys to grow their games.
“He took a big step from two years ago into last year with his 3-point shooting, and we’re asking him to take another big step. Without those four 3s maybe we don’t win tonight, so kudos to him for continuing to grow.”
Through six games thus far, Davis is actually averaging just three attempts from deep per game, but that figures to go up as the season continues.
Vogel proud of Lakers for overcoming challenges against Spurs
In a game that could definitely be described as an ugly win, the Lakers took all the way until the final minute to cement their fourth victory of the season. Vogel was proud of the team for working through those difficulties.
“You’re going to have some wins that are a little uglier than others. We knew coming into this season with the nature of the offseason and whatnot, that there were going to be some ugly nights,” he said.
“The key is can you find a way to win when you’re not at your best? We were able to do that. Proud of that type of effort and perseverance through a tough night down the stretch to make enough plays to get the W.”
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