Anthony Davis was the missing piece for the Los Angeles Lakers that allowed the franchise to complete its turnaround and win the 17th NBA title last season.
The All-Star forward flourished alongside LeBron James in their first season as teammates, sometimes even reducing the now four-time NBA champion to a supplementary role. The 27-year-old finished his debut campaign as a Laker averaging 26.1 points, 9.3 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks in the regular season.
However, Davis still seems to be off his game this year. He is averaging a mere 21.1 points and has not had a 20-point game since the 120-102 victory over the Houston Rockets. Meanwhile in the 113-106 win over the Milwaukee Bucks, the Kentucky product made just 8-of-18 field goal attempts (44.4%) and shot a poor 40% from the free point line.
“I’m so hard on myself, I think I suck right now,” Davis said with striking candor. “I’m not making shots, I’m not making free throws. But I think tonight my aggressiveness, just being in the post and getting to the paint allowed guys to get open. I trust my teammates.”
Davis has averaged six assists over the last three games, proving his skillset indeed allows him to make an impact even as he is dealing with a slump. The Bucks’ defense often collapsed when Davis penetrated the paint, creating an abundance of open looks for the Lakers, who ended the night shooting 51.4% behind the 3-point line.
The forward hopes that by finding other ways to contribute he will be able to get back in shape. “That’s the only way I feel like I’m going to get out of this funk or whatever that I’m in,” Davis said.
“I put a lot of pressure on myself to be a better basketball player each and every game.”
Davis: Lakers felt ‘pressure’ to beat Bucks
The Lakers fell 115-113 to the Golden State Warriors before leaving for a seven-game road trip that began in Milwaukee. Just as the Bucks, L.A. went into the clash having not lost back-to-back games during the 2020-21 season.
And Davis said the Lakers were extra motivated to keep that streak rolling, particularly as they were “hurt” by allowing the Warriors to overcome a 19-point deficit and snatch a win from their hands a few days before.
“We know teams are going to come out and play their best against us, but the way we lost we don’t like,” he said after the loss to the Warriors. “Nobody in that locker room likes to lose.”
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