The Los Angeles Lakers might be 2-6 but star big man Anthony Davis believes teams around the league still “fear” playing them.
After winning two in a row, the Lakers fell to the Jazz on Friday 130-116, allowing a season-high in points. Despite their record and inconsistency, Davis feels like the talent on of their roster still strikes fear into opponents.
“We have a lot of guys that teams have to worry about. We’re not the team that our record shows. But any given night our team can play very well and explode,” Davis said, per Dave McMenamin of ESPN. “I know teams fear us, for sure.”
With Davis, LeBron James and Russell Westbrook leading the way, there’s no doubt teams get up in their attempts to take down the Lakers. But fear might be the wrong word for how teams feel, considering how things have gone so far this year for LA.
The Lakers are shooting just 43.8% from the field this season — third-worst in the NBA — and a measly 28.3% from beyond the arc, which is the worst in the league.
Lakers Called Out for Defensive Showing
“I wrote it on up there at halftime on the dry erase board, ‘40 in the first, 35 in the second, 75 at half. That’s unacceptable,’” Lakers first-year head coach Darvin Ham said. “The way we’ve been guarding all year, our defense has been top five all year, and we had a little slippage, which is human nature. It’s going to happen from time to time, especially in an 82-game season. So, the biggest thing for us is just to look at it, learn from it and try our best to not let it happen again.”
Ham has stressed defense since arriving in Los Angeles. After losing to the Jazz, he made sure to note that it takes a full unit to get stops and players to have pride on the defensive end of the court.
“I tell them no one man gets a stop. It takes a unit, but to that point, having said that, individually we have to have individual pride and that competitiveness to keep the ball in front and to put pressure on the ball,” Ham said.
Davis Says Bothersome Back Injury Feeling Better
Davis has yet to be at 100% this season as he deals with back soreness. He’s missed one game due to the issue and has been visibly hobbled in others.
He shared that the nagging injury has been getting better and that he plans to play back-to-back games on Sunday and Monday.
“I think each day I’m progressing,” Davis said. “Each day I’m getting better. The back is getting better each and every day. So, it felt pretty good last night. It felt pretty good whenever we played New Orleans [Wednesday]. And I only expect that I’ll play better tomorrow.”
Davis is averaging 23 points, 11 rebounds, 1.9 steals and 2.3 blocks per game.