LeBron James opens up about potential of Lakers’ defense
LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Lakers are one of the best defensive teams in the NBA this season. LeBron James and Anthony Davis anchor a defense that has the purple and gold competitive in every game they play, and that may be their biggest strength in the final stretch of the 2019-20 campaign.
On Friday night, the Lakers showed flashes of this dominance defense, with Davis having another solid night on that side of the basketball floor. Davis was a nightmare in the paint for the Memphis Grizzlies as he was either blocking shots or making it incredibly for Memphis to get to the basket. He finished with a game-high seven blocks and had everyone talking about this team’s defense as well as his candidacy for the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year.
“We’ve been close to it,” James said of the Lakers’ defense reaching its true potential. “We’ve had great stretches – more great than not. We’re getting back to it. We understand every team that we play is going to play great basketball versus us. They look forward to that matchup, and it’s up to us to just try and take teams out of what they do well. To have Avery and JaVale and AD and the rest of us just doing our jobs defensively – being sound and being in-tune with the game plan – it’s really good for us.”
Along with Davis making a strong case for Defensive Player of the Year and LeBron doing his part on that end of the floor, the superstar newcomer talked about the team as a whole when it comes to their defensive dominance at times this season.
“Shout out to the culture,” Davis said of this Lakers squad. “We want to build a foundation, but if guys can’t go have a next-man-up mentality, and I think we did that tonight when I went out. If guys feel like they’re able to play, then, by all means, we’re going to be out on the floor. We’re trying to set a culture, set a standard for ourselves that we want to get into a rhythm before playoffs.”
If the Lakers can continue to play at a high level defensively and can keep their stars healthy moving forward, Los Angeles will be an extremely tough team to beat come playoff time. LeBron and company are ready for the challenge while living up to the hype of being one of best teams in the league this season.