Lakers News: Jaxson Hayes Discusses Focus When Anthony Davis Is Out
Jaxson Hayes, Lakers, Warriors
Jason Parkhurst-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Lakers star Anthony Davis is impossible to replace, but backup Jaxson Hayes did an admirable job in Saturday night’s loss to the Golden State Warriors.

After getting off to a dominant start, Davis was elbowed in the eye at the end of the first quarter and was eventually ruled out for the night. Head coach Darvin Ham revealed after the game that Davis’ left eye swelled up so much that he was not able to see.

As a result, Hayes played 28 minutes in the game and finished with seven points to go along with a season-high 12 rebounds. Hayes knows how important Davis is to the Lakers, but he discussed his focus when the star center is out and he is forcing into playing more minutes.

“For me, it was just trying to do all the little things right. It was a real strategic defensive game and we just had to crash the glass because I knew AD was gone. That’s about it,” Hayes said.

The Lakers seemed to be making a fourth quarter comeback against the Warriors with Hayes’ energy playing a role in that. It all came to a halt in the final minutes though when a number of reviews and shot clock malfunctions caused a 20-minute delay.

It was a unique situation that Hayes had never seen before and feels messed up the momentum L.A. was building.

“I’ve never really seen anything like that before. We were on a nice little roll and we stopped for like 20 minutes. It is what it is,” Hayes concluded.

Knowing Davis, he will be back in the lineup as soon as possible, but if he is forced to miss time, then Hayes will likely enter the starting lineup and continue to see extended minutes in his absence. If he can continue playing with the energy he has in recent weeks, then that should help alleviate the loss of such an important player in Davis.

Jaxson Hayes on what he’s learned from Anthony Davis

This season has been a good learning experience for the young Hayes playing alongside a star in Davis. He recently talked about what he has been able to pick up from his future Hall of Fame teammate.

“The biggest thing for me is just the non-fouling,” Hayes said. “That’s the biggest thing we’ve been working on since I got here, just keeping my verticality.

“What he does really well is get verticality and then he gets back into the play for maybe another block or another rebound. That’s something I’m trying to work on with him, just how to get my verticality so I don’t go flying back and I can actually stay in the play. But just little things like that, his post work, his isos, his middys. Just little footwork stuff I can take from him, trying to learn as much as I can.”

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