If the Los Angeles Lakers want to make a push for the playoffs, they are going to have to play extremely well down the stretch. Unfortunately, they’ve still been struggling a bit, as highlighted by their loss on Friday night against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The Lakers were without LeBron James and D’Angelo Russell, but they will have to deal with those circumstances moving forward. After the game, Anthony Davis sent a message about James and Russell’s absences and what the rest of the squad needs to do in the meantime.
“I mean, when our team is whole, we’ve shown what we can do,” Davis said via the NBA Interviews YouTube channel. “It’s just tough. You know, D-Lo comes in, I think in maybe the third game, he rolls his ankle. You know Bron, a couple games ago. So, it’s just tough knowing how good we are as a whole. But we got enough in this locker room to win basketball games. We’ve shown that. And so, other guys have to step up until those guys are able to get healthy and come back.”
Davis put together an incredible performance for the Lakers against the Timberwolves. He finished the night with 38 points, five rebounds, and two assists on 12-of-22 shooting from the floor and 2-of-4 shooting from behind the three-point line.
However, the star big man didn’t have too much help against Minnesota. Only two other players in the rotation cracked the double-digit point barrier. Malik Beasley poured in 15 points, and Lonnie Walker IV dropped 10 points off the bench.
Darvin Ham Delivers Furious Post-Game Rant
Well, I think when you’re trying to go out each and every day, game day, non-game day, and you’re trying to see how you can be the best versions of yourself, I don’t see why or how that could be pressing. We’re in this position. We told our team, ‘We just have to take them one game at a time.’ We can’t be locked in for two and a half, three hours, out of a 24 hour day? I’ve been around this thing [for] 26 years. Multiple championships. Multiple trips to, as a player and a coach, to the postseason. If someone has to tell you that you can’t be locked in – we do basketball for a living. Someone shouldn’t have to tell you to be locked in. We get paid millions of dollars to do basketball for a living, which only takes, whether it’s a practice, a shootaround, a game, anywhere from an hour, sometimes 45 minutes, to two and a half, three hours. A sport. We’re not digging ditches all day. We’re not building homes. We’re not doing construction. Risking our lives. We’re doing basketball for a living. And we’re playing for one of the most recognizable, historic franchises on the face of the earth. The most. If that doesn’t motivate you to go out and try to be the best version of yourself, I don’t know what will. And we talk about it. And we pour into our players to try to make them better, individually and collectively. And so, we’re gonna keep preaching it, we’re gonna keep harping on it until there’s no time left and there’s just no chance of us doing it. But until then, we’re putting our best foot forward every day. Trust me.
Darvin Ham Explains Decision to Sit Anthony Davis
In addition, Ham recently had to explain the team’s decision to sit Davis against the Oklahoma City Thunder despite him being healthy and other guys being out. He stated that the Lakers won’t prioritize winning over player safety.
“We’re trying to win all of these games,” Ham said via Kyle Goon of The Orange County Register. “But as I mentioned the other night in regards to LeBron, due to the circumstance we don’t want the circumstances of winning or losing games to dictate how we handle our players’ health.”