Anthony Davis thinks he and LeBron James can still be at the core of a champion team moving forward despite two disappointing seasons in a row following their 2020 championship.
“I think we both can. just find out.
So it’s going to be a very interesting conversation just from the point of view of what’s changed. I mean, injuries, but even when we’re healthy, I don’t think we can reach our full potential — for whatever reason. So I think we’d like to find out and get back into the championship pedigree that we know players’ are capable of again.”
LA. beat the Denver Nuggets 146-141 in overtime to finish the season 33-49 — the 22nd-best record in a 30-team league after the Lakers came into training camp as one Davis has played in just 40 games with knee and foot injuries, including 21 of LA’s last 24 games after the All-Star break. The Lakers stumbled to the finish line, leading 6-18 in that span.
Davis said surgery on a sprained right middle leg was never an option but added he could have an MRI on the injury this week.
“Take as much time off as much as possible and then come back and come back after and get ready for next season,” he said.
Davis performed better than the 2020-21 campaign, when he looked to make his way from Lakers extra time to championships in the NBA bubble. He increased his points (from 21.8 to 23.2), shooting speed (49.1% to 53.2%), rebounds (7.9 to 9.9) and blocks (1.6 to 2.3) this season. this, but Davis wasn’t available enough to change the fate of L.A. .
With Davis missing so much time and James also out for 26 games due to various injuries of his own, the Lakers never got a good look at what Davis, James and Russell Westbrook were as a trio. They only appeared in 21 games together as a group, with a score of 11-10. They only played 20-33 in the game when two of the three of them played together.
“Not enough minutes together is what hurts us,” Davis said. .”
Davis, who signed the Lakers’ acquisition of Westbrook as the front office reshuffled the roster to swap with the Washington Wizards for the 2017 league MVP service, said the point guard was too much to blame in what was a nightmare campaign. .
“Russ is not a one-man show,” Davis said. “He can’t beat the team alone. It’s all of us. It’s my game, I’m not on the floor. Bron’s game, he’s not on the floor. … Everyone. Coach. Everyone is part of the blame. …Russ, it wasn’t his fault.”
Davis acknowledged, however, that Westbrook appeared to be looking for a version of his game that he featured in previous stops with the Oklahoma City Thunder, Houston Rockets, and Wizards — a version that L.A. didn’t ask for.
“We certainly don’t need that this year,” Davis said. “When I arrived here I didn’t play the same way I played with Bron. Bron has to change; everyone has to change. Everyone has to make sacrifices. It’s hard for [Westbrook] to adjust to that.”
Lakers forward Carmelo Anthony also spoke to reporters ahead of Monday’s scheduled exit interview and said the team never stopped believing in its championship potential until it officially exited the postseason fight earlier this week. Coming so short of their goal, Anthony said the reflection of the entire organization was in store.
And I think once you start with each individual I think slowly you will get the answer.” …you have to face yourself first. Then everyone just has to take responsibility. We are all a part of this. Not just the coaches. Not just the players. We are all part of this. And I think so the whole way, we all have to feel and take responsibility for things that don’t go our way.”
Anthony, who will become a free agent this summer, has no commitments about his future with the Lakers.
“This is another chapter for me,” said Anthony, looking back on that season. “I can say I’ve had it. … I can finally tick the box — playing with Bron. Playing with AD. We had, on paper — we were phenomenal on paper. I, personally, I had a great experience. good. year, alone. As far as happiness and being able to go out there and compete and be able to do my part, play my part in this team.
“There were good days, there were bad days, but we got through it, and I made it through.”