Anthony Davis Says Lakers 'Have to Start Playing with a Sense of Desperation'April 29, 2021
The Los Angeles Lakers figure to be on the short list of championship contenders regardless of where they are seeded in the Western Conference, but Anthony Davis is looking for some more urgency down the stretch.
"We have to start playing with a sense of desperation," he told reporters following Wednesday's 116-107 loss to the Washington Wizards. Los Angeles has now lost four of its last five games and hasn't had LeBron James in the lineup since March 20.
Davis did what he could in the latest defeat with 26 points, five rebounds, three steals, two blocks and two assists, but it ultimately wasn't enough.
Notably, he also said he and Andre Drummond are "going to figure [it] out" when playing together.
The comment stood out because lineups featuring Davis and Drummond on the court together have an ugly net rating of -12.6 in four games, per NBA.com. It is a small sample size but a concerning development for the Purple and Gold if they plan on playing the two bigs together in the playoffs.
Drummond's presence does clog up the middle some, and Davis is unable to take advantage of the matchup problems he creates with his versatility at the center position when more athletic power forwards are defending him.
While Los Angeles proved it doesn't need home-court advantage to take home the title when it won last season's championship at Walt Disney World Resort, it is just 1.5 games ahead of the Dallas Mavericks and two games ahead of the Portland Trail Blazers in fifth place.
If both teams pass the Lakers, they will fall into the play-in tournament and have to battle their way just to get into the traditional eight-team field.
Los Angeles still plays the Denver Nuggets, L.A. Clippers, Phoenix Suns and Trail Blazers in its final 10 games, so it may need that desperation Davis was looking for to avoid such a fate.