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“Show Yo A** Up”: Stephen A. Smith Urges Anthony Davis & Co to Fight Nuggets, Not Get Swept

Published 04/18/2024, 8:39 AM EDT

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USA Today via Reuters

The Los Angeles Lakers ended their regular season run with a W/L record of 46-35. While it did not allow them to qualify for the playoffs, it did provide them with a second chance to qualify for the same by competing in the Play-In series. After recording a 4-point win against the Pelicans, the team is now set to play its first playoff game against the Denver Nuggets within the next few days. While the Lakers roster is made up of renowned scorers like LeBron James and Anthony Davis, the team currently holds a 2-8 record against the 2 seeding team. Therefore, securing a win proves a task. Considering this, a prominent ESPN sportscaster wants the players to put forward their best foot.

During the recent episode of his highly watched show, Stephen A. Smith drew his viewers’ attention to the upcoming Lakers-Nuggets six-game series. The 56-year-old did not shy away from handing out his flowers to the defending champions, stating that they are “arguably the best team in basketball”. Despite this, given the impressive line of offensive players within their roster, he wants the Lakers to put on a competitive show and not back out from a fight.

“Lakers better not get swept, they better not get swept in the series,” said Smith. “Better show yo a** up and play”.

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USA Today via Reuters

In order to lay more emphasis on his viewpoint, Smith highlighted LeBron’s scoring prowess, Anthony Davis’s durability – who appeared in 76 of his team’s games-, Austin Reaves “elevating his level of play,” and more. He praised the franchise for not taking the easy way out and losing to the Pelicans in order to avoid competing against the Nuggets. Therefore, having already come this far, the sportscaster feels that now may not be the time to give up.

“Nobody’s expecting you to stop that big tub of ‘lard’ that is Nikola Jokic…. but what you can do if you’re Anthony Davis, you can attack him, you can score on him” Smith stated. “You can do that because Anthony Davis has the skills to pull it off”.

Anthony Davis assured people that the Lakers are not “ducking the smoke”

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Despite the suggestion being put out by certain individuals that the Lakers should lose their matchup against the Pelicans in order to avoid the Nuggets, the team managed to pull off a close yet memorable win against them a day ago. The last time that the team won against Nikola Jokic and Co. was back in December 2022. The road ahead would not be an easy one, but it is a road that Anthony Davis has assured that his team would not be afraid to walk on.

“If they beat us, they beat us,” said Anthony Davis during an interview with ‘The Athletic’. “We’re not ducking the smoke”. Lakers head coach Darvin Ham highlighted the same mindset as his player. During a post-game interview, he was heard stating “We want all the smoke and we ain’t ducking no fades”.

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According to reports, there has been a noticeable drop in the Lakers performance whenever they face their tough rival. While the team has managed to average 118 points, 43.1 rebounds, and 28.5 assists during the regular season, the score during their three matchups with the Nuggets this season averaged 109 points, 28 rebounds, and 27.7 assists. The upcoming games will be a decider of fates for both teams, and each point, rebound, and assist will mean the difference between progress and elimination. Whatever games the Lakers lost earlier may be forgotten if they manage to defy expectations and show the world they could break the pattern.

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Written by:

Ashmit Kumar

824Articles

One take at a time

Ashmit is an NBA Content Analyst at EssentiallySports. Having started as a writer, he specializes in writing captivating stories that include the elements of in-depth coverage of teams, players and more. Due to his knowledge of the technicalities of the sport, Ashmit writes perspective pieces that provide well-researched analysis.
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Edited by:

Shivatmika Manvi