Anthony Davis Sounds Off on Lakers Championship Hopes

Anthony Davis, LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers

Getty Anthony Davis, LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers

Winning a championship is the only measure of success for the Los Angeles Lakers franchise, and as one of the most successful teams in basketball, there’s no escaping their recent struggles.

Speaking on an October 14 episode of NBA Radio for Sirius XM, Anthony Davis shared his thoughts on how the Lakers are currently viewed by the fans and the media, and why he’s keeping faith in the team’s ability to win their 18th championship.

“The past year, year and a half, we’ve only been seen in a negative light…It’s on us, yes, we have to win basketball games, obviously…We have two mediocre seasons, and now it’s whatever. Which is fine, we don’t really care, we just go out and play basketball and perform. But, it’s also the truth, I mean no one has us winning it (a championship) this year, except for us in this organization.

When you have two seasons like that, things happen and people start having their opinions. But, we feel like we’re the underdogs and I feel like everybody on this team has something to prove, and everybody has a chip on their shoulder. We’re gonna come out ready to play this season,” Davis said.

Since the Lakers won a championship in 2020, they have suffered a first-round playoff exit at the hands of the Phoenix Suns, and also failed to make the post-season entirely. This summer, there has been some slight roster changes, but overall, the Lakers still look disjointed as a team, and have struggled throughout the pre-season – so right now, they’re not seen as a legitimate threat in the Western Conference.

Lakers Add Matt Ryan

Part of the Lakers’ recent struggles has been their lack of perimeter shooting, which given the amount of interior scoring talent, has led to some serious spacing issues over the past two seasons.

However, it looks like Darvin Ham and Rob Pelinka are trying to fix those shooting issues, as on October 15, a report from The Athletics’s Shams Charania confirmed the Lakers will be retaining sophomore sharpshooter Matt Ryan for the upcoming season.

“Lakers’ G/F Matt Ryan has made the team’s current opening night roster, as the team won’t waive him by today’s roster cut deadline, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. Ryan shot 37.5 percent from 3-point land in preseason – including a 20-point performance with six 3s last Sunday,” Charania Tweeted.

If Ryan can consistently hit his three-point attempts, and be an average defender, the Lakers could have found a hidden gem in free agency, as right now, their roster is screaming out for consistent three-point shooters who can help space the floor for LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, and Davis.

Westbrook Could Become Lakers 6th Man

Another way in which head coach Darvin Ham is trying to improve the Lakers’ fortunes is by trialing Westbrook as the team’s sixth man, with the idea being that the superstar guard can find his best form if given the keys to the offense while running with the second unit.

On October 14, ESPN’S Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Los Angeles would be bringing Westbrook off the bench in their final pre-season game against the Sacramento Kings, so they could gather some data on how the switch would impact the balance of their rotations.

“ESPN reporting with @Mcten: The Lakers are planning to bring Russell Westbrook off the bench in the final preseason game vs. Kings tonight (ESPN, 10 ET). Darvin Ham and Westbrook have been exploring possibility of Westbrook quarterbacking the second unit and they’ll try it tonight,” Wojnarowski wrote.

Unfortunately, that experiment was short-lived, as Westbrook was injured early in the game and only managed to play 4:53 of game time, in which he was 0-for-two from the field and registered two assists and two turnovers. Hopefully, the 33-year-old guard will buy in to his role change and allow Ham to continue tinkering with the rotation until he finds a winning formula – otherwise, it’s going to be another long season for Lakers fans.

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