With the NBA Playoffs just weeks away, the Los Angeles Lakers must be at the top of their game. If they want to successfully push for the playoffs, they need to avoid any serious mistakes, especially with the current level of the Western Conference standings.
They faltered on Friday night, losing to the Dallas Mavericks through a winning line from Maxi Kleber, who came after the Lakers teamed up with Kyrie Irving, and he had a great assist. After the match, Darvin Ham explained final possession, including Anthony Davis’ role in the play.
“I mean, he pretty much got an online pass for [Maxi] Kleber,” Ham said via the NBA Interviews YouTube channel. “He started to set us on fire a bit later, hence our decision to start blitzing him and doubling him. We made it difficult. I tried to be as active as possible. He found an open guy, and we didn’t get there fast enough. But AD had a last minute and tense contest. But it’s hard. It’s like Indiana all over again. But at the end of the day, NBA players are very talented. An elite skill level.
Ham also spoke about the mistakes the Lakers made throughout the game, including too many fouls and too many missed free throws.
“But yeah, it puts more emphasis on why you really have to control what you can control,” Ham said. “And I thought we weren’t disciplined at certain stages. We made a mistake. Had some really bad mistakes. Fouling of shooters. And also we did the job we wanted, [the job] we’re looking to make every game, and that’s winning the free throw line. We had 31 attempts, but you have to make more than 19. We make our free throws, we probably don’t have this conversation.
Anthony Davis explains the final game against the Mavs
After the match, Davis also gave his thoughts on the final play of the match, explaining what was going through his head during possession.
“With seven seconds, he [Irving] dribbled almost the whole clock,” Davis said via the NBA Interviews YouTube channel. “Me just reading it. Knowing he’ll probably fire the last shot. He goes into his live fire move and just comes with it. He doesn’t shoot it. So when it rises [and] it kind of drew me in. I was going to look for the rebound. I thought he was shooting it. He made a pass to Kléber. He does the hit.
D’Angelo Russell talks about Anthony Davis
In the Lakers’ previous game – a loss to the Houston Rockets – they were forced to play without Davis, as he was injured. After the loss, D’Angelo Russell spoke about what it was like to play without Davis.
“He’s a player that demands so much attention,” Russell said via the NBA Interviews YouTube channel. “It’s a lot of gravity going his way, and when he’s on the floor obviously you have a lot of easier opportunities to exploit. And when he’s not, you have to make up for it. When you face a team that changes, whatever team you face, it makes the attack a bit more stagnant. So there needs to be more ball movement, more continuity, more fast hitters, and second and third options. Things like that. So, as I said, we are a team that has understood a lot of things. There are holes in our system right now that obviously we’re trying to figure out. And when we’re not all there, it’s going to make it difficult.