Anthony Davis won’t play versus Suns

Anthony Davis is a late scratch for the Lakers’ preseason game versus the Phoenix Suns.

The Los Angeles Lakers are about to tip off versus the Phoenix Suns in Las Vegas, Nevada, for their second preseason game, but they will be without one of their best players.

Superstar big man Anthony Davis will not be in the lineup tonight due to what is being called lower back tightness. The team says this is a precautionary move. It doesn’t want to take any chances with him so early in the year.

Davis has been criticized for being injury-prone, and many fans think he is a malingerer who will find any excuse to miss games, although there is proof the latter simply isn’t true.

In L.A.’s preseason debut on Monday night, he had 11 rebounds in just 16 minutes.

In addition, head coach Darvin Ham will be going with a somewhat different starting lineup.

The Lakers also play Thursday night against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

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Observations from Lakers vs. Kings preseason game

Despite a poor overall showing from the Lakers in their first preseason game, three players stood out in a positive way for them.

Los Angeles Lakers basketball is finally back after a long and strange offseason!

The team looks a lot different this season after a summer that was filled with lots of trade rumors, and Monday’s contest against the Sacramento Kings gave fans a glimpse at what the new-look Lakers could be this season.

Not surprisingly, it was an ugly contest, especially for Los Angeles, which shot 31.2 percent from the field and committed 23 turnovers, which led to 30 Sacramento points.

The team also had lots of trouble on the boards, giving up 15 offensive rebounds.

But there were a few bright spots for the Lakers, especially from these three players in particular.

Lakers’ Big 3 is embracing aggressiveness on offense

LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook have all decided to play aggressively and not try to be too unselfish.

One of the reasons last season’s Los Angeles Lakers did so badly was the poor fit of their three stars: LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook.

Westbrook was often aggressive to a fault last year. At the same time, there were also times he was too passive, almost as if he was trying too hard to ingratiate himself with his new teammates.

But during training camp over the last couple of weeks, all three have decided to simply be aggressive and decisive rather than try to placate each other.

They believe it will be good for the team.

Via The Athletic:

“I think the biggest thing was everybody trying to be selfless and now everybody is being aggressive,” Davis said. “Russ, ‘You get it, go.’ Bron, ‘You get it, go.’ I get it and go. Whoever. And that’s been very helpful for all of us. Obviously, we’re unselfish teammates and we want to pass and do things (for our teammates), but at the same time, we have to get going as well. And I think that’s been the biggest change that we wanted to see from us three so far is whoever gets it, let’s be aggressive because it’s going to open up the floor for everybody else.

“When we’re all trying to be unselfish and share the wealth, the ball kind of ends up getting lost around the perimeter or we’re going up against the shot clock. But when somebody is staying aggressive and Russ is getting downhill, Bron is getting downhill, it opens up the floor. Because they’re aggressive where guys have to help out, they can kick it out to shooters.”

Last season, the Lakers often saw themselves fight the shot clock after reverting to a great deal of one-man basketball.

But now, new head coach Darvin Ham has re-emphasized fast-break basketball and playing with pace overall.

As long as Westbrook is still a member of the team, he will have to find the right balance between aggressiveness and being under control. But he is clearly a better player when he leans toward the former.

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LeBron James wants Anthony Davis to become Lakers’ No. 1 option

Anthony Davis is being called upon to take the reins as the top scoring option for the Lakers.

LeBron James is about to begin his 20th season in the NBA at age 37, and with all that experience and wisdom has come miles of wear and tear.

He is one of the most dedicated and aware athletes when it comes to taking care of his body, and he has long known he needs to gently let his foot off the gas pedal as he grows older, at least in the regular season.

To do that without sacrificing wins, he needs his teammates to pick up the slack. That’s where Anthony Davis comes into play.

According to a report, the four-time MVP, as well as new head coach Darvin Ham, wants the superstar big man to become the Los Angeles Lakers’ top option on offense.

Via Yahoo Sports:

“Head coach Darvin Ham will look to utilize the eight-time All-Star as the No. 1 offensive option to aid in minimizing the workload of four-time MVP LeBron James, who is entering his 20th season.

“Davis said James, 37, has been in his ear about taking over the reins of the team, while the rest of the roster would follow his lead.”

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This closely resembles the talk that came out of training camp three years ago, when James talked about Davis being L.A.’s No. 1 option.

But without a doubt, limiting James’ minutes and workload will be one of the team’s biggest keys to success this season.

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Anthony Davis wants to play full 82-game schedule

Anthony Davis’ goal for this season is to do something he has never done before in the NBA.

Los Angeles Lakers fans love to harangue Anthony Davis for being injury-prone and for supposedly being soft and devoid of motivation.

However, when he has been healthy the past three seasons, he has generally been dominant, or at least close to it.

The last two years have been difficult for the superstar big man. He has played in only 76 of a possible 154 games because of multiple injuries.

But it is a new season, and with it has come, apparently, a new attitude for the Lakers.

Davis has said he has a very lofty goal for the year: Play in every single contest.

Contrary to the narrative surrounding him, Davis has played in 75 games twice in his career, as well as 62 of the 72 contests during the 2019-20 season.

In all likelihood, he will not appear in 82 games, but by aiming very high, if he falls short, he may end up playing in at least 70 contests, and that would be just fine for the Purple and Gold.

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Anthony Davis says unreported wrist injury hurt his shot last year

According to Anthony Davis, an undisclosed wrist injury was the reason he shot so poorly from 3-point range last season.

Anthony Davis has been the subject of significant criticism from Los Angeles Lakers fans over the last couple of years, and one of the bones of contention for him has been his 3-point shooting.

When the Lakers won the NBA championship during the 2019-20 season, Davis shot very well from downtown, not just in the bubble but throughout the second half of the schedule.

Since then, his 3-point shooting accuracy has plunged. He made just 26% of such shots in the 2020-21 season, and that figure decreased to 18.6% last year.

Davis’ volume of attempts from beyond the arc has also fallen from 3.5 a game in the championship season to 2.8 the following year and 1.8 last season.

The superstar big man blames a wrist injury that he and the team apparently didn’t disclose.

Via ESPN:

“A lot of people don’t know this, but since January I was battling a wrist injury the whole year,” Davis said. “So it was affecting my shot and everything. That’s not an excuse but it was tough for me to shoot how I wanted to shoot. I couldn’t really follow through.”

For all the criticism Davis gets for being injury-prone, he has shown a definite willingness to play through pain and even injury.

Early last season, he played through an injury to the thumb on his shooting hand, as well as a stomach bug that afflicted him during a road game against the Portland Trail Blazers.

The best news about Davis is he says he’s fully healthy now.

“I’m 100% healthy,” Davis said. “I feel great. You can ask guys around here, I’m really shooting the ball. So, I’ll be ready. Wherever coach puts me on the floor, midrange, post, perimeter, if I’ve got a shot, I’m going to shoot it.”

Lakers are coming into the new season with a new attitude

In contrast to last season, the Lakers aren’t exactly acting like they’re the favorites and have a huge margin of error.

Last season, the Los Angeles Lakers were considered one of the favorites to win the NBA championship. However, it seemed that, all too often, they came into games with a casual attitude and felt they didn’t need to go all-out until the playoffs started.

As a result, the playoffs never started for them. They didn’t even qualify for the play-in tournament.

But after falling flat on their faces last season and with a new head coach, the Lakers seemingly have adopted a different and better attitude for the 2022-23 campaign.

Superstar big man Anthony Davis, who has been accused of being passive and soft many times, showed leadership during media day on Monday by explaining exactly what the team’s new attitude is.

Via ESPN:

“We’re treating this season like we have a chip on our shoulder. We’re the underdogs,” Davis told ESPN during the team’s annual media day on Monday. “Obviously, the world is looking to see what we do. But … they’re not talking about us, and that’s fine. You know, we’d rather be under the radar.”

When Los Angeles won the world title in the 2019-20 season, it started the year as something of an underdog; the Los Angeles Clippers were considered the favorites to win it all.

In fact, ESPN predicted Los Angeles to finish fifth in the Western Conference that year.

The Lakers are hoping that being counted out this season will produce similar results.

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Zach Lowe’s prediction on Lakers’ starting lineup this season

One NBA reporter predicts the Lakers will make a couple of interesting and debatable decisions when it comes to their starting lineup.

Other than LeBron James and Anthony Davis, there are plenty of questions about who will be in the starting lineup for the Los Angeles Lakers this season.

Will Russell Westbrook still be there? What about Kendrick Nunn and newcomer Patrick Beverley? Will Austin Reaves get the nod, as some have suggested? Who will be the team’s starting center?

NBA reporter Zach Lowe gave his prediction on what L.A.’s starting five will look like this coming season, and it is sure to spark plenty of debate among fans.

Via Lakers Daily:

“Zach Lowe, host of “The Lowe Post” podcast, spoke with ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne about a number of Lakers-related topics, and noted (at the 12:08 mark) that his opinion is simply something that he envisions.

” ‘So, based on what I’ve heard, my prediction for what will be the starting five, not what should, but what will, is Russ (Russell Westbrook), (Kendrick) Nunn, and the Nunn buzz … there’s a lot of Kendrick Nunn talk, among 25 people who care about it,’ Lowe said. ‘Russ, Nunn, LeBron (James), A.D. (Anthony Davis) and I think Damien Jones is right now the front-runner to start at center, and I am as big a Damian Jones fan as exists in the NBA media.'”

Westbrook and Nunn starting in the backcourt would be an interesting option. Such a tandem would give the Lakers abundant firepower to start each contest as well as a proven 3-point shooter, Nunn.

However, it would be an undersized backcourt that would likely be vulnerable on the defensive end.

Jones is an up-and-coming defensive center, and he could have a good shot at the starting 5 spot. However, Thomas Bryant, L.A.’s other true center, is a more proven 3-point shooter, and the team needs players around James, Davis and Westbrook who can space the floor and keep defenses honest.

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Lakers now have cap space next season for a max contract, like Kyrie Irving, after trading Talen Horton-Tucker

The Lakers now enough have space to sign … Kyrie Irving.

After trading Talen Horton-Tucker to the Jazz to land Patrick Beverley, the Lakers have significantly improved their defense and shooting.

Although the trade sacrificed youth by moving off Horton-Tucker, who is just 21 years old, there is a lot to like about the deal for Los Angeles. While this is a move that could likely help them win more games next season, it also gives their front office more flexibility for the future.

Based on the contracts currently on their roster, this move makes them well-positioned for the next off-season in 2023.

Here is why that matters, and what it means for the future of the organization:

LeBron James extends with the Lakers: What now?

LeBron James has agreed to a two-year, $97.1 million extension with the Los Angeles Lakers, according to Adrian Wojnarowski. The deal will raise his career earnings to $532 million, which would give him the highest career earnings in NBA history by …

LeBron James has agreed to a two-year, $97.1 million extension with the Los Angeles Lakers, according to Adrian Wojnarowski. The deal will raise his career earnings to $532 million, which would give him the highest career earnings in NBA history by far. It will also include a 15 percent trade bonus and a player option for the 2024-25 season.

Here we look at the deal and what it means for James and the Lakers going forward.