LeBron James, Anthony Davis & Lakers Not Taking Game Vs. Nuggets ‘Personal’
Anthony Davis, Nikola Jokic, Lakers, Nuggets
Jason Parkhurst-USA TODAY Sports

One thing that has become abundantly clear is that the Denver Nuggets have the Los Angeles Lakers’ number. No matter what LeBron James and Anthony Davis do, the Lakers just can’t seem to figure Denver out, having lost seven straight to the defending NBA Champions including a four-game sweep in last season’s Western Conference Finals.

As the defending champs, the West still goes through Denver and with a primetime ABC game coming up on Saturday, the Lakers would love to pick up a big home win. It is the final meeting of the season between the two teams with Denver coming out on top on Opening Night and again on Kobe Bryant Statue night. But despite all that, LeBron isn’t treating this game differently than any other.

“We just want to get better every night. It doesn’t matter who our opponent is,” James said after the Lakers’ Thursday night win over the Washington Wizards. “We’re trying to place ourselves to be in playoff contention. So it doesn’t matter if it’s the [Denver] Nuggets or the [Los Angeles] Clippers, or the [Washington] Wizards or whoever the case we play, we have to just try to play our game and defend at a high level.

“Continue to show the ball offensively, try to shoot at a high clip, and get a free-throw line. It’s not a personal matchup versus them. They know what they want to do. They already solidified what they want to do each and every night. And we’re still trying to get better and work through our things and still trying to get healthy and things of that nature. So just want to get better.”

As LeBron noted, with the Lakers trying to climb in the standings, every game is important and they simply need to get wins regardless of the opponent. Improving their chemistry and playing consistently great basketball is most important for this team right now.

Davis is on the same page as LeBron, feeling the team simply needs to get wins and not taking this matchup any more personal.

“I think just to start the month off right. Obviously, they’ve had our number for a while. But I don’t think we look at it as we got to beat them for our own personal morale or something like that,” Davis added.

“We just want to get a win and kind of keep this thing going knowing the position that we’re in trying to climb up the ladder. We haven’t talked about it. But I think just overall just getting a win, to keep this going will be helpful for us. In the midst of that beating them will definitely feel good.”

The Lakers still have a lot of ground to make up if they plan on climbing out of the Play-In Tournament or at least get in a better position within it. Beating the Nuggets would undoubtedly feel great, but Davis and LeBron understand that the Lakers’ focus needs to be on themselves and their own internal development to be the absolute best version of this team.

Anthony Davis happy with Lakers’ 9-3 February record

The Lakers had a good month in February overall, going 9-3 and playing at a higher level more consistently. Anthony Davis was happy with the team’s play and hopes they can continue to grow with another tough month ahead.

“Obviously we’re trying to climb, it’s gonna take a lot more winning than losing to be where we want to be,” Davis said. “We’re in the race right there, I’m not sure what happened tonight around the league, but we’re continuously just trying to get better, work on ourselves, and get healthy. Get some of our guys back. And while doing that, staying in the fight, staying in the hunt.

“So it’s a good month for us. And we got a tough month of March coming up. But we’re at home, so we gotta take advantage of that.”

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