Anthony Davis Sends Message About Lakers’ Performance Without LeBron James

LeBron James, Anthony Davis

Getty LeBron James (L) #23 and Anthony Davis #3 of the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Los Angeles Lakers have not jelled as expected on either end of the floor, and injuries have not helped as Anthony Davis has previously alluded to.

When one thing works, another falls short, often resulting in an offense that can’t put pressure on opposing defenses. And their defense hasn’t been able to hold up under that pressure.

They were without LeBron James in their most recent loss, a 132-127 affair versus the Utah Jazz on January 13. But Davis was not using that as an excuse postgame, and even assigned blame for the loss.

“Everyone did their job except me. I didn’t do my job,” Davis told reporters in the locker room. “Obviously, Bron’s out. Everyone have to step up, and those guys did – except myself. So this one’s on me.”

Davis finished the game with a 15-point, 15-rebound, 11-assist triple-double – his first of the season – adding four blocks and a steal.

But he had six turnovers and was 0-for-5 from the floor in the fourth quarter.

And, while the Lakers held the Jazz to 56% shooting in the paint, Utah shot 72.2% in the restricted area. That includes going 3-for-3 from that area in the fourth quarter of a game decided by five points.

Asked by reporters what he felt was the root cause behind his off night, Davis only offered a two-word response.

“No shots,” he said.

Davis’ 21 attempts were second most on the team behind D’Angelo Russell, who was starting in place of the injured James. Davis sunk five of his attempts on the night, getting the rest of his points at the free throw line where he was 5-for-6.

“He played well,” Davis said of Russell’s performance. “Whether it’s starting or coming off the bench, he remains professional, and it showed tonight. He got us going early on and throughout the course of the game. That was good for him, it was good for our team. Not sure what happens next game [with lineup]. But I know he’ll be ready to come in and get that same type of effort.”

Davis and James cosigned Head Coach Darvin Ham’s decision to pull Russell from the starting lineup. The former’s comments could also put Russell’s postgame comments in a new light.

D’Angelo Russell Not Looking to Be ‘Superman’, Explains Anthony Davis’ Lack of Shots in Lakers’ Loss

“It was just fun just hooping; as simple as that,” Russell said during his availability in the locker room. “They got some coverages that tried to take AD out the game, allowed us to play off the catch and attack closeouts all game. … I thought we had a lot of great looks. Just try to take this aggression, add it to the next game.”

Russell had a game-high 39 points, shooting 57.7% overall and going 6-for-11 from downtown with three rebounds, two blocks, and one steal.

He scored 11 points in the fourth quarter alone.

“Obviously, want to win every game. But not going to kill myself trying to be Superman or something like that,” Russell said. “We got to do it collectively. Everybody’s got to have an imprint on the game for us to win.”

Cam Reddish Injured, Update to Come

Having everyone leave their mark on the game is difficult with so many injuries. The Lakers were without James and Gabe Vincent, who has made five appearances this season after signing in free agency.

They had Rui Hachimura playing on a minutes restriction following a calf injury that cost him the previous five games.

Cam Reddish also left the game early with a knee injury.

“Darvin Ham says that Cam Reddish is being evaluated by the Lakers’ medical staff,” The Athletic’s Jovan Buha reported in a post on X, formerly Twitter, on January 13. “The team will have a “definitive” plan for him on Monday.”