Anthony Davis Speaks Truth About Lakers’ Roster Amid Trade Rumors

Anthony Davis, Los Angeles Lakers

Getty Anthony Davis #3 of the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Los Angeles Lakers got a big 112-105 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on January 15, snapping their two-game skid and notching their third win in the last five games, thanks in no small part to Anthony Davis.

At 20-21, the trade rumors around the team aren’t likely to stop after this one victory.

But, perhaps, it will convince the Lakers to maintain their path of prudence before the trade deadline, which falls on February 8 this season.

“We haven’t been completely healthy,” Davis told reporters after the game. “I mean we’ve been in games a lot this year. But we’ve been having a lot of injuries, which is always tough. The times we were healthy – completely healthy – we played great basketball. So we know what we can be. But I think we just got to get healthy fully healthy.

“I like our team. I like what we doing, like what we did tonight. We got to continue on that path.”

Davis finished the win over OKC with a game-high 27 points, adding 15 rebounds, five assists, two steals, and one block.

The performance comes on the heels of a disappointing showing for Davis in the loss to the Utah Jazz on January 13 after which the big man shouldered blame for the outcome. But Davis has been one of the few constants for the Lakers amid injuries and lineup changes.

He has missed just two games all season and has stood on injuries being an issue for the team.

Davis may get his wish in as much as the starting lineup the Lakers trotted out against the Thunder is the one fans can expect to see for the foreseeable future.

Darvin Ham Sticking With Lakers’ Starting Lineup for Anthony Davis, LeBron James

The Lakers started Davis, LeBron James, Taurean Prince, Austin Reaves, and D’Angelo Russell – the same group that started opening night. They – namely Reaves and Russell, who have both struggled for stretches – had been shuffled to the bench in recent weeks.

Head Coach Darvin Ham went back to them.

The decision was made in part because of Cam Reddish dealing with a knee injury. But Ham also touted what the trio of Reaves, Russell, and Prince provided around Davis and James.

“Just wanted to put as much skill and shot-making on the floor around our two captains,” Ham said of the grouping. “And those five they’ve been pretty much our most consistent guys throughout the season thus far. So just put them together and … for the foreseeable future, that’s going to be our lineup barring any type of injury.

“I thought it went well. It’s a hell of a night, a lot of contributions. We talked about just everybody pouring into one another, covering for one another, helping each other be great on both sides of the ball. And I think we saw tonight with that lineup.”

The lineup boasts a plus-3.2 net efficiency differential, per Cleaning The Glass, ranking in the 67th percentile.

That group shot poorly against the Thunder, going 5-for-18 from beyond the arc.

But the Lakers’ starters outscored their Thunder counterparts while only Prince finished the game with a negative plus-minus. Perhaps most encouraging is that they were able to perform like this while still missing pieces in Reddish and Gabe Vincent.

Anthony Davis Sends Message to Rui Hachimura: ‘Be Yourself’

One of the pieces the Lakers have gotten back is Rui Hachimura. He has dealt with injuries throughout the season, including missing five straight with a calf injury. Since returning, Hachimura is averaging 14.5 points, 3.0 rebounds, and 1.0 blocks.

He is also shooting 40% from three, including going 2-for-3 versus OKC.

“He’s fresh. I mean, he’s been out for a little bit. So he has fresh legs,” Davis said of his young teammate.

“He’s playing with confidence. Obviously, Rui was a big part for us last year, and we just want him to get back to you know being himself. Sometimes he goes out and overthinks a little bit. He wants to make the right play. But just be yourself. Just don’t think and just play basketball, and uh he’s been doing that the last two games, shooting the ball and attacking the basket.”