On April 19, the Los Angeles Lakers fell to a shock defeat against the Memphis Grizzlies in the second game of their first-round playoff series.
Throughout the game, both Anthony Davis and D’Angelo Russell struggled to find their rhythm when looking to score, leading to multiple empty offensive possessions. Yet, it was Davis’ struggles that truly hurt the Lakers, as they faced a Grizzlies team that was missing their best rim protector and star point guard.
After the game had reached its conclusion, Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins credited his team’s defense on Davis, sharing how they had prepared to guard him and understood the system the Lakers use to get the best out of their star big man.
“Just with the activity, we had a couple of different guys on him,” Jenkins said. “They use them in pick and roll to get into his post situations, early post-ups as well. It’s just trying to play with smart activity, obviously, trying to limit their ability to draw fouls, = work for the post position; who’s going to win that battle early in possessions is big. And they’re just not getting them any angles to really be a threat. He’s a hell of a player. It’s gonna be a tough test. But you know, we know they’re gonna try to feature him in a lot of different ways. It’s off all screens. It’s post Iso’s. It’s pick-and-rolls into posts. So I thought our guys did a great job knowing the different situations they like to feature him in. And we just did it with just smart activity.”
The Grizzlies’ defense did a solid job in limiting Davis, holding him to just 13 points, 9 rebounds, and 3 assists on 28.6% shooting from the field.
Anthony Davis Issues Statement After Struggling
When speaking to the media during his post-game press conference, Davis was blunt in his assessment of his shooting performance, detailing how he liked the shots he got, but was simply unable to convert his opportunities.
“I like the shots I took, just missed them,” Davis said. “A lot of shots close to the rim. Normally they go it. You know, flush it, get ready for Wednesday, or whatever day we play.”
D’Angelo Russell Sounds Off on Shooting Struggles
Of course, Davis wasn’t alone in his inability to convert his shots, as D’Angelo Russell also found points hard to come by in a disappointing performance. In 30 minutes of play, Russell contributed 5 points, 7 rebounds, and 4 assists while shooting a paltry 18.2% from the field and 20% from three-point range.
After the game, Russell noted that he was pleased with his shot selection and that he was just unable to make good on his scoring opportunities.
Now, as the Lakers prepare for the third game in their series against Memphis, Darvin Ham, his coaching staff, and Lakers fans around the world will all be hoping that Davis and Russell can rediscover their shooting touch ahead of the April 22 contest.