With just a few short weeks until the NBA Playoffs, the Los Angeles Lakers have to be at the top of their game. If they want to successfully make a push for the postseason, they need to avoid any serious errors, especially with how tight the Western Conference standings are right now.
On Friday night, they faltered, losing to the Dallas Mavericks by way of a Maxi Kleber game-winning three, which came after the Lakers double-teamed Kyrie Irving, and he made a beautiful pass. After the game, Darvin Ham explained the final possession, including Anthony Davis’ role in the play.
“I mean, he got pretty much a line-drive pass over to [Maxi] Kleber,” Ham said via the NBA Interviews YouTube channel. “He started torching us a little bit down the stretch, thus, our decision to start blitzing him and double-teaming him. We made it difficult. Tried to be as active as possible. He found an open guy, and we didn’t get there fast enough. But AD had a last-minute, outstretched contest. But it’s tough. It’s like Indiana all over again. But at the end of the day, NBA players are highly talented. An elite skill level.”
Ham also spoke about the mistakes the Lakers made throughout the game, including too many fouls and too many missed free throws.
“But yeah, that makes it more of an emphasis on why you really have to control what you can control,” said Ham. “And I thought we weren’t disciplined at certain stages. We fouled. Had some really bad fouls. Fouling shooters. And also we did the job we wanted, [the job] we seek out to do every game, and that’s win the free-throw line. We got 31 attempts, but you got to make more than 19. We make our free throws, we’re probably not having this conversation.”
Anthony Davis Explains Final Play vs. Mavs
After the game, Davis also gave his thoughts on the final play of the game, explaining what was going through his head during the possession.
“With seven seconds, he [Irving] dribbled almost the whole clock out,” Davis said via the NBA Interviews YouTube channel. “Me just reading him. Knowing that he’s probably going to take the last shot. He goes into his actual shooting motion and just comes down with it. He doesn’t shoot it. So, when he goes up [and] it kind of pulled me in. I was going for the rebound. Thought he was shooting it. He made a pass to Kleber. He makes the shot.”
D’Angelo Russell Sounds Off on Anthony Davis
In the Lakers’ previous game – a loss to the Houston Rockets – they were forced to play without Davis, as he was injured. After the loss, D’Angelo Russell spoke about what it was like to play without Davis.
“He’s a player that demands so much attention,” Russell said via the NBA Interviews YouTube channel. “It’s a lot of gravity that goes his way, and when he’s on the floor, obviously, you get a lot of easier opportunities to capitalize on. And when he’s not, you got to make up for it. When you’re facing a team that switches, no matter what team you’re facing, it makes the offense a little more stagnant. So, it has to be more ball movement, more continuity, more quick hitters, and second and third options. Things like that. So, like I said, we’re a team that’s figured a lot of things out. There are holes in our system right now that, obviously, we’re trying to figure it out. And when we’re not all out there, it’s going to make it hard.”