The Los Angeles Lakers were incredibly relieved to have Anthony Davis back in the lineup after a longer than two-month absence. However, things have gone about as badly as they possibly could have since his return. They sit at 1-5 in his six games back, and he and the team have played poorly to say the least.
While he hasn’t been playing his usual minutes, Davis is clearly not himself right now. In just under 30 minutes per game, he is averaging 16.5 points, 6.7 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.8 blocks while shooting abysmal numbers from the field. His field goal, 3-point and free throw percentages sit as 39.4%, 17.4% and 70.8%, respectively.
He does feel like he’s starting to get his legs under him, but sees his struggles and the team’s as well. “My legs are starting to feel pretty good,” Davis said. “Still trying to get that game wind back. Each game I’m boosting my minutes up more and more to try to get that back as quickly as possible.
“But just trying to get a rhythm, still trying to find a rhythm. Some games it feels good, all the games it feels good, all the shots feel good. But a lot of the things are short or long because of the legs so just trying to stay the course, keep working, keep finding it.
“The entire team is kind of in a slump right now, a drought, not more so individually but just collectively on both ends of the ball. So we just got to stay the course, stay together. I think this is the lowest we’ve been in a while, at least in the past two years from a losing streak I guess. But the only way is up, we really can’t get any lower than this. So we just got to stay the course, stay together. It always feels like it’s something with us, tonight it was no [Dennis Schroder]. We’re trying to find a rhythm and there’s always something that is happening so we just got to be mindful of that, guys just got to stay together and keep working.”
While Davis knows he’s struggling, he is still not worried, saying that he knows that he can be better and that they are champions for a reason. “I think I can be, honestly. Like I said, a lot of my shots, I love that I’m taking, I love the spots that I’m getting to, it’s just their long or short. Just trying to get those game minutes back, now I’m getting back into the 30-35 minutes, which I haven’t done in a long time. You kind of get used to the 20-25 minutes, now you push up 10 minutes, 12 more minutes and now you got to get that wind of playing that long for an entire game.
“So I’m still finding it and I’m encouraged. I never doubt myself or get down on myself because I’m not playing well. And when I’m not scoring, I try to do other things to help the team win whether it’s rebounding, assists, blocks, whatever it is, I just try to help the team any way possible to get wins. I think we all have to do that, we can’t worry about one end of the floor. So that’s my mindset but I think overall we all just got to find our swag. We’re not playing with any swag, I don’t think guys are having fun. Obviously there’s no fun when you’re losing, but at the end of the day we’re the champs. Like we are the champs, we’re the defending champs so we got to play that way and play with a little bit more swag.”
If the Lakers’ problem is the fact that they are playing without rhythm or “swag,” then that’s something they need to figure out immediately. They have just eight games left in the regular season and need to compile some wins to avoid the play-in tournament.
Last season, the Lakers looked horrible in the eight seeding games before the postseason began. However, that was okay as they already had the No. 1 seed locked up. This year, they simply cannot afford to take eight more games off before the end of the regular season.
Kuzma believes Lakers are not connected right now
Kyle Kuzma is as aware of the team’s problems as everyone else. After the Lakers bad loss to the Toronto Raptors, he gave some insight into what he thinks might help the team and how to respond to the issues. “I just don’t think we’re connected right now,” Kuzma said. “I just think we’re unhealthy and just not good enough.
“Losing six is very tough and we’ve all had winnable games during that stretch and it’s just a little disappointing. We’re just not together as a whole, team, staff, everything. So we just got to get back onto it, try to find out some way, somehow to get it clicking again and get that spark. I think that’s what it is.”
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