Anthony Davis has been a dominant force for the Los Angeles Lakers recently, leading L.A. to two straight wins.
Davis registered at least 37 points and 16 rebounds in the last two games, firing the Lakers to victories over the Brooklyn Nets and Detroit Pistons. The 29-year-old forward also collected four blocks and a steal in Friday’s win over Detroit, proving he’s had a tremendous impact on both ends of the floor.
The eight-time All-Star has truly stepped up in the absence of LeBron James, helping the Purple and Gold double the number of their wins and improve their record to 4-10 while James nurses a thigh injury. However, Davis says he doesn’t pay attention to his stats for as long as the Lakers stay in the win column.
“I’m glad that we won,” he says. “It could’ve been zero points, and we won. We got to get wins, the rest is going to take care of itself.
“We’ve been in this situation before. Lose five, win two, lose five, win two. So got put a string of wins together to get you back in this thing, but we got to take it one game at a time.”
The Lakers managed to get back-to-back wins earlier in the 2022-23 season, but a five-game losing streak followed, thrusting L.A. to the bottom of the Western Conference standings. However, Davis believes the Purple and Gold are now a more defined team thanks to the lessons they have learned from the difficult first month of the campaign.
“Yeah. We’re starting to find our rhythm,” Davis says. “You know, every loss we’ve learned from, you know, and every win, we learn from. We don’t want to get too high, don’t get too low. And our guys are communicating better. We’re being more mindful of our job selections. More mindful of our defensive pressure intensity.
“Tonight, our biggest thing was fouling. But everything is self-inflicted. We make mistakes. So, we’re doing a good job of finding a groove, finding a rhythm, and coming together. And like I said, the next step is just doing it for multiple games in a row where we can run off a couple of wins.”
Still, despite his fine form, Davis doesn’t want James to take on a lesser role when he returns from his injury.
“Nothing changes for me when he comes back,” Davis says. “We’ve seen it before where he’s playing a couple years ago, so nothing’s changed. “I think we’ll be fine. Just trying to get chemistry.
“We don’t have a lot of practice time. These guys are hurt, so we want to be mindful that when we practice a lot of time and together. But we know what we can be.”
Davis wrote ‘Throw the ball to AD’ on whiteboard before season tip-off
Although Davis might not want to take the ball away from James, he does plan on being the driving force of the Lakers’ offense — just like head coach Darvin Ham wants him to.
To prove the forward accepts the responsibility, Ham has told a story about Davis leaving a clear message on his whiteboard before the 2022-23 season’s tip.
“He’s getting more forceful in terms of pushing the issue in terms of being that threat, that initial threat,” Ham says. “He’s been playing very, very well in my opinion. He wants that.
“It’s funny because he came into my office before the season even started and wrote on my little dry-erase board ‘2022-23: throw the ball to AD.’ That’s what he wrote on the board so we’re gonna hold him to that.”
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