Anthony Davis has had a fairly quiet start to the 2020-21 season after exceeding expectations in his first year with the Los Angeles Lakers.
The 27-year-old All-Star is averaging 21.9 points and 8.8 rebounds per game but is yet to become as impactful a figure as he did alongside LeBron James in the previous campaign. Davis himself offered a candid assessment of his play recently, saying he “sucked right now” following a victory over the Milwaukee Bucks.
Among other things, the forward emphasized his struggles at the free throw line. He is currently shooting a career-low 71.1% from the charity stripe and finished the narrow 107-106 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers converting just five of 10 attempts.
But Davis said he was not concerned by his wayward aim. “I’m not worried about it. I usually go up there and split them,” he said. “I missed two tonight and then made the final two. At this point, it’s just all mental.
“Continue to draw fouls, get to the line, and have confidence in my work that I’m going to make the free throws. I put a lot of pressure on myself to make free throws and make teams pay for fouling. I haven’t been good at that this year, but it’s something I’m not too concerned about.”
Davis said he felt physically fine even though he has been grappling with a few minor injuries. And, as James pointed out before the season, the forward reiterated the 2020-21 campaign would be more of a marathon rather than a sprint and the Lakers would improve as the games go by.
“We have a long season to go, so just trying to stay physically ready for every night, coming off a short offseason,” Davis said.
“You’ll see [against the Detroit Pistons].”
Frank Vogel says Lakers will try to get Davis ‘more assertive’
Lakers head coach Frank Vogel has taken notice of the dip in efficiency Davis suffered this season. But he said the slump did not concern him at this point of the season and pointed to offseason roster adjustments as a factor affecting the All-Star’s production.
However, Vogel said the Lakers would try helping Davis become “more assertive” in the later parts of the season. “We want to make sure we’re playing through him as much as possible,” the head coach said.
“You just balance trying to get everybody going throughout the course of a long season.”
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