Anthony Davis Gets Honest About Lakers’ Approach to Recent Slide

Anthony Davis, Chicago Bulls

Getty Anthony Davis #3 of the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Los Angeles Lakers are riding a four-game losing streak, and they have lost five of their last six games. Their malaise in the wake of a championship run in the In-Season Tournament has sparked some talk of fatigue from players like LeBron James.

For Anthony Davis, that may be the case. But they have to snap out of it and fast.

“It’s an NBA season. There’s going to be ups, there’s going to be downs. Right now, we’re in that down period,” Davis said via Free Dawkins on YouTube after the 118-111 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves on December 22. “We just gotta get back to winning. It’s that simple … and we treating Saturday [versus the Oklahoma City Thunder] as a must-win.”

Los Angeles was short-handed in that game, most notably missing James. But they were also without Gabe Vincent for the 24th time this season.

Davis finished with a game-high 31 points in the contest, adding eight rebounds, four assists, and three blocks in 28 minutes. It was Davis’ fourth 30-plus-point performance in his last five outings, and the fifth in six games if counting the In-Season Tournament championship game.

Asked about whether or not the Lakers’ multiple changes to the starting lineup and rotation have had a negative impact, Davis pointed to the team’s myriad injuries making them necessary.

But head coach Darvin Ham took things a step further than just the common discussion.

D’Angelo Russell, Jarred Vanderbilt Expected to Trade Places

“Hearing some whispers the Lakers are considering a change in the starting lineup,” Anthony F. Irwin of the “Lakers Lounge” podcast posted on X on December 22. Subject to change obviously but from what I’m hearing, [D’Angelo Russell] would sit and [Jarred Vanderbilt] would start.”

Dan Woike of the LA Times confirmed Irwin’s report.

“From what I’ve heard, this is indeed the plan tonight against Oklahoma City,” Woike said, quoting Irwin’s post on December 23. “We’ll be at shootaround here shortly in OKC and should learn more.”

Russell has struggled lately, averaging 9.8 points and shooting 27.5% from beyond the arc over the last eight games, though he’s added 5.5 assists, 2.4 rebounds, and 1.4 steals in that span.

He also admitted that he was not a strong defender after the loss to Minnesota.

“We need guys that are going to make shots, we need guys that are going to get stops. And if I’m not making shots, and I’m depending on me just getting a stop – that’s where I work, that’s where I try to be better – but that’s not what I do,” Russell said via “Doing that is an extra, and that’s where my focus is. But knowing what I do, that’s something that I know as well.”

The Lakers are 4-4 in Russell’s last eight starts.

Vanderbilt was in a presumed competition for the starting power forward spot coming into the season. But he was limited to just one preseason contest before an injury sidelined him. The switchable forward missed the first 20 games of the regular season.

He returned to the court on December 2 against the Houston Rockets and is averaging 0.9 points and 3.8 rebounds in just over 14 minutes per game.

Lakers’ Anthony Davis Praises Timberwolves’ Anthony Edwards

Davis was also asked for his impression of Anthony Edwards who is the leading scorer on the Western Conference-leading Timberwolves.

Edwards had 27 points, seven rebounds, five assists, three steals, and one block versus LA.

“He’s a great talent. I mean, things he’s doing right now, how he’s leading their team, it’s fun to watch,” Davis said. “He can score with the best of them. He can defend with the best of them. So I’m just seeing him rise, and what he’s able to do is good for our league.”

This was just the first matchup between the two teams this season. They will meet three more times this season, first on December 30 and then again on March 10 and April 7.