Xavier Tillman Issues Statement on Guarding Anthony Davis After Lakers Loss

Xavier Tillman, Anthony Davis, Los Angeles Lakers

Getty Xavier Tillman, Anthony Davis, Los Angeles Lakers

In a surprise result, the Los Angeles Lakers fell to defeat against the shorthanded Memphis Grizzlies on April 19.

Despite not having Steven Adams, Ja Morant, and Brandon Clarke, the Grizzlies found a way to win the game, and it started with their increased physicality on the defensive end. Of course, it also helped that role players such as Xavier Tillman stepped up with big performances on both sides of the court.

During his post-game press conference, Tillman discussed his team’s victory and credited their efforts in limiting Anthony Davis to just 4-of-14 shooting from the field, noting how they had a game plan to try and limit the star forward.

“Physicality, not giving him any easy ones,” Tillman said. “In that first game, he had a lot of drop-offs, a lot of fast break dunks to where it’s like okay, you can’t stop him once he’s two feet in the paint and he’s got the ball. So, just keeping them out of the paint and being physical with it. So if he makes a shot, it’s just a tougher shot. That’s what we really, really try to hone in on, and especially not fouling him, because he’s a great free throw shooter. So locking in on those things really helped us do that.”

Tillman finished the game against the Lakers with 22 points, 13 rebounds, and 3 assists while shooting 76.9% from the field and 50% from three-point range.

Anthony Davis Discusses Poor Shooting Night

During his own post-game press conference, Anthony Davis discussed his poor shooting night, revealing that he liked his shot profile; he was just unable to convert his attempts into points.

“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.”

Davis, 30, struggled to impact the game to the level he usually does, boasting just 13 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists, and 5 blocks in 37 minutes of play, shooting just 28.6% from the field.

Darvin Ham and the Lakers coaching staff will likely spend the next couple of days looking for adjustments they can make to put Davis in a better position to dominate their next game.

Darvin Ham Discusses Anthony Davis’ Performance

While Davis was certainly far from his best, it would appear that head coach Darvin Ham believes the Grizzlies’ defense had a big impact on his star big man – something which he discussed when addressing the media.

“From my vantage point initially, [they were] just forcing tough catches, denying him, forcing them off his spot, and then crowding the paint, and tilting behind him,” Ham said. “Flooding the backside. And, again, when the shot clock is steady dwindling, and you have to go find a way- he’s doing his job. We tell our guys, whenever you drive the ball, and you collapse, you have two or three defenders around you, or you try to post up, you have two or three defenders around you, now you got to go to the second or third option. Swing it quickly and just play a little faster. But again, my hats off to them. Taylor [Jenkins] and his staff, they’re really excellent coaches, and they bumped up their physicality. Bumped up their crowds. And, defensively, taking away the paint. And they came away with the win. So, again, time to go back to LA, put our best foot forward, and defend our home court.”

The Lakers will now turn their attention to game three of their series, which is set to take place on Saturday, April 22.
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