The playoffs got off to a very bad start for the Los Angeles Lakers. They looked outmatched by the Phoenix Suns in Game 1 and even the team’s superstars played poorly. Anthony Davis had one of his worst games as a Laker. He had minus-20 plus/minus and only scored 13 points.
Even Davis couldn’t hide from the fact that he had a bad game. He ended up taking the blame for the loss.
“There’s no way we’re winning a game, let alone a series with me playing the way I played,” Davis said in a postgame press conference. “So, this is on me. I take full responsibility, for sure. We’ll be better Game 2.”
The good news for the Lakers is that it’s hard to imagine that Davis could play much worse. In fact, LeBron James believes that his superstar teammate is about to have a big game.
“It’s always just AD being AD,” James said in the postgame presser. “Anytime he comes to the press and tells you guys we can’t win with him playing the way he played, he always responds. So I’m looking forward to that.
“When AD is AD, then we’re the Lakers.”
How Davis bounces back for Game 2 on Tuesday could define the series for the Lakers.
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LeBron Doesn’t Think It’s Fair to Place Blame on Davis
While Davis was bad, he wasn’t the only player who didn’t step up. LeBron also put together a lackluster performance as he only scored 18 points. He appreciates Davis’ decision to take accountability but he believes that it goes beyond one bad poor performance.
“It’s never just one guy, but I love when AD puts that pressure on himself,” LeBron said. “We’re a better team when he’s aggressive, we’re a better team when he demands the ball, but we’ve all got to do a lot better as well. Tonight was a great opportunity for us to play better. We didn’t do that, and we look forward to Game 2.”
The Lakers lost every Game 1 they played throughout the Western Conference playoffs last season. It’s far from time to start panicking quite yet. It’s hard to imagine Los Angeles can play any worse than they did in Game 1 and they only lost by nine. Game 2 should be much more competitive.
Frank Vogel Looking to Adjust to Help Davis
At the end of the day, the Lakers need to get Davis going. He’s having his worst year since he was a rookie and he’s clearly still struggling. Head coach Frank Vogel knows Los Angeles needs to adjust.
“There’s plenty we can do,” Vogel said. “I’m not going to get into the details of what our adjustments are going to look like, but certainly we can do a better job taking advantage of the attention he’s drawing.”
Davis should be dominating the Suns. Earlier in May, he scored 42 points on them. Deandre Ayton is a good, young player but he’s nowhere close to the level that Davis is. There’s no reason he should be outplayed by him. Davis needs to start taking advantage of the fact that he’s going up against a very inexperienced frontcourt.