Lakers News: Austin Reaves Doesn’t Think Anthony Davis Can Have ‘Horrible’ Game Due To Defensive Impact
Austin Reaves, Anthony Davis, Lakers
Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Coming out of the All-Star break, the Los Angeles Lakers are ramping up for a run to possibly get out of the Play-In Tournament. It all starts with Anthony Davis as his play elevates the team dramatically, especially on the defensive end of the floor where he is their anchor.

L.A. went into a crucial matchup with the Phoenix Suns on Sunday afternoon as they are currently ahead of the Lakers in the standings. While the Lakers still have the tiebreaker over the Suns from wins earlier in the year, they ultimately lost 123-113 in the fifth and final matchup, missing out on an opportunity to make up ground in the standings.

One of the factors contributing to this loss was Davis’ slow offensive start in the first half. He scored only four points and it set the Lakers offense behind before he found his groove in the final 24 minutes. Austin Reaves defended his teammate’s slow start as Davis’ impact goes beyond the stat sheet.

“So many times, everybody wants to get on AD saying he didn’t play well, slow start, which if you look statistically, it obviously was a slow start for him,” Reaves said. “But what he demands on the floor, the attention, the defensive effort contesting shots. Regardless of what shows up on the stat sheet, I honestly don’t think AD can have a horrible half or a horrible game because he means so much to us on defense. But I think we just did a better job of finding him to help him get in a rhythm and that’s really it.”

Criticism is not new to Davis as he has battled the outside noise since being traded to the Lakers. Most of it is centered around his injuries and inability to stay on the floor, but some up-and-down play is a new critique to the center that was thrown around during the backend of last season.

However, this is arguably the best season the Chicago native has had since dawning the purple and gold. Reaves knows what the big man brings to the table day in and day out, so it is also hard to blame this loss entirely on Davis since he has been super consistent all season long.

Anthony Davis discusses how rebounding can be improved

Limiting opposing teams to one possession is an issue that has hindered the Lakers throughout various points of the season and reared its ugly head on Sunday. As Phoenix got 14 offensive rebounds to L.A.’s three, Davis discussed how the rebounding can be improved.

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