After a stretch of facing non-playoff opponents, Anthony Davis and the Los Angeles Lakers now are in Texas to take on the Houston Rockets in back-to-back games. Their road trip will then conclude with a matchup against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Despite the Lakers defeating the Rockets in five games in the 2020 NBA Playoffs, Houston is not nearly the same team. They no longer are coached by Mike D’Antoni and have abandoned micro-ball in favor of more traditional big men like Christian Wood and DeMarcus Cousins.
The Rockets also swapped out Russell Westbrook for John Wall in an effort to make their superstar, James Harden, as comfortable as possible amid a trade request. The sweeping changes have yet to pay off as the Rockets have not gotten off to the best start.
They sit at 3-4 with two of their wins coming against the Sacramento Kings. The biggest glimmer of hope to begin the season is the excellent start by Wood. He is averaging 23.3 points, 10.8 rebounds, and 2.0 blocks and has been the Rockets best player with the exception of Harden.
Wood’s game was likened to that of Davis by teammate Eric Gordon. As the two big men get ready to share the court, Wood admitted he has been looking forward to facing Davis and the Lakers, according to Ben DuBose of USA Today:
Christian Wood says he's "circled" the games against Anthony Davis and the Lakers on his calendar. Looking forward to it. #Rockets
— Ben DuBose (@BenDuBose) January 9, 2021
While Davis is not a certainty to play after missing Friday night’s game against the Chicago Bulls, he should be able to get on the court for at least one of the two games against the Rockets. The Lakers listed him as questionable for Sunday’s matchup because of right adductor strain.
Frank Vogel addresses Davis’ frustration with Lakers defense
In Davis’ most recent game, a loss to the San Antonio Spurs, he voiced his frustrations about the Lakers lack of defensive effort. Lakers head coach Frank Vogel did not agree with Davis’ concerns, but understood why he was upset.
“We had a terrible defensive night, so I understand his frustrations. I felt the same exact way, but at the same time, it’s early in the season. It’s a process. We’re learning a new group and we’re evolving as a team. This is just part of the process,” Vogel said.
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!