Anthony Davis sends warning to NBA ahead of playoffs
The Los Angeles Lakers have tumbled down the Western Conference standings while they try to get healthy for the stretch run, but Anthony Davis believes rival teams would be making a mistake if they read too much into that.
Davis, who returned to the lineup last week after missing 30 games with heel and calf issues, sat down for an interview with ESPN’s Rachel Nichols over the weekend. He was asked about the possibility of the Lakers having to take part in the play-in tournament, which would happen if they finished anywhere from the No.7 to No. 10 seed. L.A. is currently in fifth place and three games ahead of the seventh-place Portland Trail Blazers.
Davis said he isn’t overly concerned about any potential playoff opponent.
“No matter where we fall, we know we’re still capable of winning a championship,” he said. “Injuries played a part this season for us. We always say it just makes it a lot sweeter at the end to go through something like this.
“Put us up against anyone. I don’t think (anyone) wants to see us first round. I know the type of team that we have and I know what we can do. I think we’re capable of beating anyone in a seven-game series.”
You can hear the remarks at around the 2:15 mark below:
Going 1-on-1 with Anthony Davis ahead of tonight's Lakers-Mavs rematch. On the hardest part of his time out injured, how he and Andre Drummond are fitting together and what he thinks of the Lakers' repeat chances even if they end up a low seed: "I'd put us up against anyone." pic.twitter.com/BWTjywELFs
— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) April 24, 2021
The Lakers are still the team to beat. It was impossible to judge them during a span in which Davis sat out 30 games, and now LeBron James is sidelined with an ankle injury. L.A. has a losing record since LeBron went down on March 20.
Assuming they are healthy, the Lakers could be even better off this year than they were in last year’s playoffs. They have added Andre Drummond for front-court depth, which should take pressure off Davis.
Davis admitted on Saturday that the Lakers are struggling with a specific issue, but that should work itself out if they get everyone back and healthy.