Despite their trade deadline deals, the Los Angeles Lakers haven’t turned things around as quickly as they may have hoped. Obviously, it’s only been a couple of games, but the on-court chemistry is going to take some time to develop.
This showed up in their February 13 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers, as Damian Lillard absolutely cooked them. After the game, he was asked about his mentality, and he broke down exactly what was going through his mind as he picked apart the Lakers.
“I think the number one thing is just being aggressive,” Lillard explained via the Trail Blazers’ official YouTube channel. “That’s a mentality, because I’m not going out there saying ‘I want to score points.’ I’m just applying pressure. I’m going to attack coverages, I’m going to take the opportunities that’re there, try to create opportunities. And that’s in the paint, that’s pulling up for three, that’s when I feel a defender being overly aggressive, being aggressive towards him, and as drawn a lot of fouls. And then, as I continue to do that, I see the defense continue to load up and help more, and I just make the right play from there. And I think that’s how you’re able to not just score points, but you’re able to break a team down. Just by being in attack mode and having that type of aggressive mentality, and then they start to show you different coverages, and at that point, it’s just figuring out where they’re helping from? What are they trying to do?”
It was a dominant night for Lillard that kicked off with a 30-point first half. Lillard would end the game with 40 total points to go along with six rebounds and five assists. The superstar point guard shot 13-of-23 from the floor and 8-of-14 from behind the three-point line.
Anthony Davis Name-Drops Lakers Teammates After Loss
After the loss, in which LA was missing LeBron James, Anthony Davis was asked about what went wrong for the Lakers, particularly when it came to letting the energy slip on offense. He admitted that seeing Portland’s non-shooters make shots was deflating but also that the team, as currently constructed, needs some time to gel.
“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 said 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.”
Anthony Davis Happy With Roster Additions
That being said, Davis is very happy with the changes the Lakers made to the roster.
“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.”