Last night, the Los Angeles Lakers beat the doors off of the Portland Trail Blazers, winning 136-113. It was another impressive night for the squad in a season where they’ve had plenty of them, but this one continued to build on their impressive road résumé. In that résumé, they’ve won 11 straight road games (first time since the 1972-73 season per Harrison Faigen), and most recently went 3-0 in this most recent trip after the Trail Blazers win. This road trip also featured wins against the Denver Nuggets and the Utah Jazz, putting the combined records of the three teams they beat at 35-30. It’s been so fun to watch, but apparently, Anthony Davis isn’t going to be satisfied with winning 20 out of 23 games in October, November, and December.
Here’s what Anthony Davis had to say to the press after last night’s win, courtesy of Tania Ganguli/LA Times:
“Three tough environments to win in and we’re able to come in and take all three, but we have our mind set on something special. And we know in order to reach that goal, we have to stay in the moment and go game-by-game. You know, we take every game personal, we want to go out there and be the best team, we want to be out there winning each quarter, we want to be out there diving on the floor, we want to win in “hustle points”, we want to win in rebounding. All of the little things, and if we continue to do that, it will be fine.”
“We have our mind set on something special,” AD says. In this video he also explains “the Avery challenge.” pic.twitter.com/bKODwCSPdd
— Tania Ganguli (@taniaganguli) December 7, 2019
It has to be scary for the rest of the league that even after being the first team to 20 wins in the Western Conference, Davis is still talking about taking games personally.
He’s obviously right. The Lakers have so much talent in between their two superstars, Davis and LeBron James, that if they just hustle, rebound, play defense, and focus on each possession like it’s the last one in an NBA Finals Game 7, then they’ll probably be on that Finals stage in June 2020.
Speaking of defense, Davis said that the team has sort of recently implemented a thing called “The Avery challenge” to keep themselves honest on the defensive end while Avery Bradley continues to miss time. Here’s the full quote:
“We’ve given ourselves a challenge, we call it “the Avery challenge”. Ever since Avery (Bradley) went out, our defense has taken a hit a little bit. And the last three games, I’m not sure what it was tonight, the last three games we’ve been able to be the number one team in Defensive Rating and we want to get there every time.”
Anthony Davis has sure as hell done his part recently to keep the Lakers’ defense near the top of the league while Avery Bradley sits out. He is currently second in the league in stocks (steals and blocks) per game, at 4.1 per game (leader is Jonathan Isaac).
Davis’ full stat line as of today is 26.6 points, 9.1 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 2.7 blocks, and 1.4 steals per game. Sheesh.