The Los Angeles Lakers need to be laser-focused on the postseason. They struggled mightily at the beginning of the season, but after a trade deadline full of roster-altering moves, they have emerged as a better team and have been playing much better.
On Friday night, that trend continued as they took down the Oklahoma City Thunder. After starting for the majority of the season, Lonnie Walker IV was moved to the bench, and after the game, Anthony Davis was asked about his mindset amid the move.
“A true professional,” Davis said of Walker via the NBA Interviews YouTube channel. ‘All our guys, if they play or not, play a lot of minutes, start then go to the bench, start, they don’t play, [they have] good energy and good vibes no matter what. Cheering for their teammates. Lonnie goes in after games. If he don’t play, he goes to the gym, gets shots. Constantly staying ready. And I always say, ‘If y stay ready, you ain’t gotta get ready.’ So, he’s been locked in on his game when his number is called, and it was called tonight. And he stepped up and played well.”
Walker played a huge role off the bench against the Thunder. The Lakers wing ended the night with 20 points, four rebounds, and three steals on 7-of-12 shooting from the field and 4-of-8 shooting from behind the three-point line.
As for Davis, he put up amazing numbers against the Thunder. The big man finished the game with 37 points, 15 rebounds, one assist, and one steal on 15-of-21 shooting from the floor.
Austin Reaves Sends Message on LeBron James
While Walker was taken out of the starting lineup, Austin Reaves has been earning more opportunities in the starting lineup. After a recent win over the Phoenix Suns, Reaves spoke about how he’s been trying to step up while LeBron James has been out.
“I mean, since Bron’s been out, you had to have multiple guys fill what he does because he does everything on the court,” Reaves said via the NBA Interviews YouTube channel. “And so I’ve tried to be more aggressive offensively both ways. Getting teammates involved and then also scoring and getting to the line. So, it’s really just been going back and playing basketball the way that I love, the way that I’ve always played, and having fun with it.”
Darvin Ham Praises Malik Beasley
In addition to Walker, Malik Beasley has also been taking on a bench role. Head coach Darvin Ham praised him for the way he’s handled it after LA’s win over Phoenix.
“I think he [Reaves] was huge,” Ham said via the NBA Interviews YouTube channel. “He helped get us off to a great start. His ability to play downhill, draw fouls, score at all three levels, find guys, [and] his ability to play make. I mean, he was huge for us. He’s been huge for us all year. You mentioned last game, he’s in a great space right now. Feeling him his game and just locked into what we’re trying to accomplish. And I just felt like it made all the sense in the world. And salute the Beas [Beasley], being a pro’s pro. Understanding the strategic part of it. And Beas was locked and ready. He came off the bench, hit two big threes for us, and competed. That’s what we need, man. That’s the competitiveness, but the togetherness that I’ve mentioned all year.”