Anthony Davis on Lakers' 2021 NBA Title Chances: 'I'd Put Us Up Against Anyone'

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistApril 24, 2021

Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis gestures during the first half of the team's NBA basketball game against the Dallas Mavericks in Dallas, Thursday, April 22, 2021. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press

Even though injuries have plagued the Los Angeles Lakers during the regular season, Anthony Davis remains confident in his team's ability to repeat as NBA champions. 

In an interview with ESPN's Rachel Nichols, Davis said he would put the Lakers "up against anyone" in the league regardless of where they end up in the playoff standings. 

Rachel Nichols @Rachel__Nichols

Going 1-on-1 with Anthony Davis ahead of tonight's Lakers-Mavs rematch. On the hardest part of his time out injured, how he and Andre Drummond are fitting together and what he thinks of the Lakers' repeat chances even if they end up a low seed: "I'd put us up against anyone." https://t.co/BWTjywELFs

Davis' comments echo what Dennis Schroder told reporters after Thursday's 115-110 loss to the Dallas Mavericks

"I mean, first off, it don’t matter where we end up at. ... I think for me personally, if everybody is there in a 7-game series, I’ll put my money on us," Schroder said when asked about reintegrating Davis and LeBron James into the lineup late in the season. 

The Mavs game marked Davis' first appearance since Feb. 14 due to a strained calf. He finished with just four points on 2-of-10 shooting and four rebounds in 17 minutes. 

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported on April 10 that James is "on track be back in the lineup in three weeks." The four-time NBA has been out since March 20 when he suffered a sprained ankle against the Atlanta Hawks

Assuming a three-week timetable, James could return on either April 30 against the Atlanta Hawks or May 2 against the San Antonio Spurs. The regular season ends May 16, with the first round of the playoffs set to begin on May 22. 

The Lakers were 28-14 when James was injured and have lost 10 of 17 games with him out of the lineup. The reigning NBA champions won 17 of 23 games this season with James and Davis in the lineup together. They are currently the No. 5 seed in the Western Conference playoff standings with a 35-24 record. 

Los Angeles had the best record in the west last year during the regular season (52-19) and went 16-5 in the playoffs en route to winning the NBA championship.