Lakers News: Why Didn’t L.A. Feed Anthony Davis Late In Cavaliers Defeat?
Russell Westbrook and LeBron James weigh in.
For the second consecutive game, Los Angeles Lakers All-Star center Anthony Davis scored exactly two points in the second half of a contest that eventually got out of hand for L.A. late. Yesterday, the Lakers fell, 114-100, to the Cleveland Cavaliers during an afternoon bout at Crypto.com Arena. Today, they’ll be facing off against the Utah Jazz, in Salt Lake City, and crossing their fingers in the hopes of having a happier night than they did on Friday.
Why didn’t Anthony Davis get the ball late?
In part, Russell Westbrook and LeBron James didn’t seem to prioritize feeding him the rock in final quarters the game, quite possibly to the detriment of the team.
So is there trouble in paradise?
During postgame press conference conversations, Russell Westbrook put the onus on head coach Darvin Ham and his assistants to coordinate more set plays for getting the ball to Davis.
Here’s a transcript of the pertinent passage:
“I don’t know whose primary job it is to do that, to be honest. I leave it up to the coaches to figure out the best way for them to utilize [him]. When I’m in… I do the best job I can in making the right reads… Obviously [with] the talent AD has, I guess collectively we’ve got to figure out ways to be able to utilize him more, but I will kind of leave that up to the coaches [to] figure out ways to… do that.”
Davis did finish with 19 points on 7-of-12 shooting, 12 rebounds, four assists, and a block. He took just two shot attempts in the third quarter, and absolutely none in the fourth. Westbrook took six shots in the second half, LeBron James took 11.
The Chosen One was also asked about Davis’s lack of shot attempts in the second half. He didn’t as directly put the onus on Ham and co., though the inference is there if you look for it.
Here’s the pertinent excerpt from LeBron, decked out like slain Migos star Takeoff:
“I think we’re all just trying to figure out what we want to do offensively. That’s been something that we’re all trying to maneuver through and see what best suits every individual to better the team and obviously it starts with AD, and getting him more touches… Offensively, each game has its own challenges to start the season, but our focal point is and should always be to make sure he touches the ball throughout the course of possessions, quarters, halves, and so on.”
It’s a bit disconcerting for both Westbrook and James to be so deferential and act as if they, as the Lakers’ two primary playmakers, have no responsibility to get their most important big man activated with the game on the line.