The Los Angeles Lakers continue to fight for a postseason spot. Their current standing hasn’t done anything to knock Anthony Davis’ confidence in his team.
Davis recently issued a confident statement about the team’s chances in the postseason this year.
“If we actually have a full summer, full training camp, go through an entire season, who knows the position we’ll be in,” Davis told ESPN. ” … The team we have now, we feel like not only can we make noise this year, and I like our chance against anybody to be honest. You put anybody against us, I like our chances. … Who knows what we could be, what threat we could be next year and then years to come if they work it out and are able to keep this group together.”
The University of Kentucky product compared this year’s Lakers squad to the one that won a title in 2020. That team beat the Miami Heat in six games in the league’s bubble in Orlando, Fla.
“We have less bigs, for sure, but I think adding D-Lo (D’Angelo Russell), Vando (Jarred Vanderbilt), Beas (Malik Beasley), gives us that identity again,” Davis said. “With Beas filling that KCP (Kentavious Caldwell-Pope) role as a shooter. D-Lo is like that [Rajon] Rondo wizardry with the ball and finds guys. … Vando with the AC (Alex Caruso) role that he played. Even bringing Rui [Hachimura] with the Kuz (Kyle Kuzma) role. So, obviously that team was special. … But I think this team has potential to be like that team.”
Ever since making the trade for Russell, Vanderbilt and Beasley, thinks have been going a lot better for the Lakers. Since that deal, the team is 11-7. That has helped it climb back into the postseason picture, as it currently sits in ninth place in the Western Conference with a 36-37 record.
Friday’s contest against the Oklahoma City Thunder, who are also 36-37, is arguably the Lakers’ most important game this season to date. A win would get the Lakers to an even .500 for the first time all season.
Plenty of fans believe that if the Lakers make it to the postseason, they’ll be one of the hardest outs in the entire league. That’s certainly possible, but a lot of that will hinge on LeBron James’ health.
He’s currently out with a foot injury, but it was reported on Thursday that he has resumed on-court activity. Only time will tell when he ends up returning.
The end of the 2022-23 regular season is getting closer and closer, and there’s essentially no margin for error for L.A. One small slip-up in its last nine games could doom the team’s playoff hopes.
Davis will do his best to help the Lakers win their next few games. After Friday, L.A. will move on to the play the Chicago Bulls two straight times.