Lakers News: Jaxson Hayes Discusses What He’s Learned From Anthony Davis
Anthony Davis, Jaxson Hayes, Lakers
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Simply put, Los Angeles Lakers star Anthony Davis was at another level on Sunday night against the Minnesota Timberwolves. He became just the eighth player in NBA history to have at least 25 points and 25 rebounds in a single game and no player in history has also had at least five assists and five steals in that same game.

In all, Davis finished with 27 points, 25 rebounds, five assists, seven steals, and three blocks in the Lakers’ 11-point victory. It was pure dominance and something that big man Jaxson Hayes couldn’t believe he was witnessing.

“I mean, the man had 27 and 25. That’s saying something,” Hayes said in response to Davis’ historic night. “That’s almost 30 and 30, which I’ve never even gotten close to 25 boards. He just knows the game so well and his timing on everything is so good. So he’s able to go contest, get back to the rebound and he just knows where it’s gonna be. That’s something I’ve kind of taken from him and tried to learn from him. He’s one of the best to do it right there.”

For his part, Hayes also had a strong night off the Lakers bench as he finished with nine points and five rebounds without missing a shot from the field. The fifth year big has been performing well in his reserve role lately, but is also not missing his opportunity to learn from one of the best bigs in the league.

Hayes spoke to what he is learning most from Davis, noting that defending without fouling has been his main focus.

“The biggest thing for me is just the non-fouling,” Hayes added. “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.”

While Hayes is tall and athletic, he is still relatively thin so he can be pushed back even when he is there to contest. But getting those positioning things down and footwork from Davis could really take Hayes’ game to the next level.

Hayes’ role has continued to grow with this Lakers team and Hayes is smart to learn from arguably the best big man defender the NBA has to offer. It is already paying dividends and will only continue to do so.

Lakers’ Anthony Davis credits ‘effort’ for historic performance

The biggest thing for the Lakers was getting a much-needed win against one of the top teams in the league. It was that knowledge that Anthony Davis pointed to as what was driving him during his outstanding performance.

“Effort. Knowing the importance of the game,” Davis responded when asked what led to his huge night. “This team is number two in the West, they’re still a good team. Obviously, they’re missing key parts of their team, but you still have Mike [Conley], Ant [Edwards], Naz played well.

“Guys who can make plays and they still find a way to win ball games, so we just want to come out as a team effort knowing where we are in the standing and saying how important this game was trying to close the gap in the standings.”

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