The Los Angeles Lakers missed a significant opportunity to make a leap in the Western Conference standings by falling to the New York Knicks on Sunday night without point guard Jalen Brunson. Anthony Davis did not have his most efficient evening, scoring 17 points on 8-for-18 shooting.
He did have 16 rebounds, two steals and a block, but it certainly looked as though he was struggling to get what he wanted on the offensive end. Especially compared to some of the dominant performances he’s put up in the last two weeks.
Davis was the first one to take responsibility for his play after the loss that dropped the Lakers to a four-way tie for No. 9 and No. 10 in the Western Conference. “My play. I played terrible. Couldn’t find my shot: free throws, layups, everything. The guys did their job. I didn’t do my job tonight.”
The All-Star center focused on where he specifically struggled. “Everything. I think I had a good presence defensively, but offensively, I wasn’t there,” Davis said. “Like I said, free throws, layups, the handle, shots. Everything offensively. Guys played well tonight, did their job. Dennis, DLo, Austin, Wenyen, Rui did more than enough to win the game. I didn’t do my part.”
The Lakers four bench players shot a combined 17-for-29 and D’Angelo Russell shot 13-for-19, but it was the remaining four players in the rotation — including Davis — that couldn’t get anything going offensively.
“No, I mean, it’s one game,” Davis said on whether or not the loss disrupts the team’s momentum. “We’ve been playing great basketball. Need to go on the road and get back at it, but nah, this doesn’t change anything for me.”
Davis also discussed what the Knicks may have done defensively against him. “No. I just missed a lot of shots. I don’t think they did anything special. A lot of times I was one-on-one. They doubled a couple times but I don’t think it was anything that carried over from the Toronto game.”
It’s clear that Davis is ready to put the loss and the poor offensive performance behind him. He’ll desperately need to, as the Lakers are facing a critical matchup against the New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday night. The Pelicans are one of the four teams involved in the four-way tie between ninth and 12th place in the Western Conference.
If Davis can return to his dominant form for this game, there’s no reason to believe the Lakers can’t escape New Orleans with a massive victory.
LeBron James rehab is going according to plan
Lakers head coach Darvin Ham announced on Sunday that everything is going according to plan with regard to the rehab of LeBron James’ right foot injury. That means he’ll likely be re-evaluated somewhere around March 23 — three weeks after his injury was originally announced.
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