The Los Angeles Lakers have one goal in mind – make the playoffs. After missing out on the postseason entirely last season, their trade deadline moves this year indicate a clear desire to win games. However, with roughly a quarter of the season remaining, they are rapidly running out of time.
With LeBron James still sidelined, the Lakers have struggled. They dropped their most recent game to the Portland Trail Blazers on February 13, as Damian Lillard went berserk. After the contest, Anthony Davis spoke about how deflating it was to see non-shooters make shots, as well as the learning process the team is currently going through.
“Maybe, I’m not sure. When you play, like you said, good defense, you get the ball out of the hands of the guys that you want to get it out of and get it to a guy that’s a fairly poor three-point shooter, and they make, it’s just kind of deflating,” Davis explained via the NBA Interviews YouTube channel. “Especially when it’s over and over the entire game. So, maybe a little bit. Obviously, this is our second game together. Just still trying to figure it out. D-Lo [D’Angelo Russell], Malik [Beasely], trying to figure it out. D-Lo mainly because he has the ball in his hands a lot. Then the other guys are trying to figure it out as well off of them. Dennis [Schroder], a little bit myself, Austin [Reaves], Troy [Brown Jr.], like we all trying to figure it out. It’s fairly new. And then Bron when he comes back. So even though we’re clearly new, there still has to be a sense of urgency, but tonight, those guys on the other team just made shots.”
Davis has struggled in the games since the Lakers traded Russell Westbrook. Against Portland, he posted 19 points, 20 rebounds, and three blocks. However, his efficiency was rough. Davis shot just 8-of-18 from the field against the Trail Blazers.
Meanwhile, players like Matisse Thybulle and Trendon Watford both had great nights shooting the ball. Plus, Lillard’s 40-point night brutalized the Lakers.
Anthony Davis Praises Lakers Roster Additions
While Davis admitted that the team is still getting used to playing with each other, he is happy with who the Lakers brought on board.
“Adding those guys, adding Malik who is like 6’4″ or 6’5″, Austin, all of these guys, we have a bigger group now. It helps with our defense and things of that nature,” Davis said after the trade deadline via Spectrum SportsNet. “But as far as the frontcourt, yeah, I mean, Vando, Wenyen, even Rui at times, Bron’s coming back, so playing big has definitely looked good for us. Having two bigs on the floor and it seems to work. Obviously, coaches will continue to test it out and see what works, but it looked good tonight.”
Jermi Grant Signs With Klutch Sports
In other news, Trail Blazers forward Jerami Grant just signed with Klutch Sports – the agency of James and Davis. This led Noel Sanchez of Sports Illustrated to connect him to LA as a potential target for the Lakers in free agency.
“After some calculated moves before this season’s trade deadline, the Lakers will now head into the offseason with more cap space and flexibility. Only four players on the team are officially guaranteed a spot next year, and seeing a player like Grant sign with Klutch does beg the question: Will the Lakers make a run for him?” Sanchez wrote. “By bringing in Grant, the Lakers would have a bonafide defensive stopper and take a lot of that pressure off of their stars. He is just 28 years old and entering the prime years of his career.”