NBA Legend Derek Fisher Details How the Los Angeles Lakers Can Improve Without Anthony Davis

Published 02/28/2021, 12:00 PM EST
Feb 20, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) positions teammates during the seconds quarter against the Miami Heat at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports


The Los Angeles Lakers grabbed a win when they faced the Portland Trail Blazers at the Staples Center on Friday. It was only the second victory for the purple and gold since Anthony Davis’ injury, and they put on a clinical display that impressed franchise legend, Derek Fisher. 

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The Lakers hold a 2-4 record in the games that they’ve played since Anthony Davis’ Achilles injury. The most recent victory came against the Blazers, and the defending champions were impressive with their defense. 

LeBron James was satisfied with the win since the Lakers largely contained Damian Lillard from creating damage towards the end. A lot of it has to do with how they built up the game, and Derek Fisher broke down a piece to film to make viewers aware. 

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Feb 26, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) shoots the ball over Portland Trail Blazers forward Robert Covington (23) in the first half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers used an aggressive approach to contain the Blazers

The Blazers are the sixth-seeded team in the West and rank Top 10 in the league in terms of their offensive rating. However, the Lakers stopped it from flourishing when they met Portland on Friday. 

Five-time NBA champion Derek Fisher was impressed with how the Lake show played good defense without Anthony Davis on their side. He even broke down a film on Spectrum SportsNet to demonstrate the most effective game plan they should employ to counter opponents.

“Really be aggressive at the point of attack, force teams to try and make passes. LeBron is the best free-safety linebacker in basketball, they have a lot of guys that can get in the passing lanes and create issues and I think they can still be better and more efficient while they’re still waiting for AD to get back,” Fisher mentioned. 

Tonight's Fish's Focus breaks down the #Lakers' halftime adjustments, limiting the Blazers to 36 second-half points. @derekfisher pic.twitter.com/8jNgGGZaFy

— Spectrum SportsNet (@SpectrumSN) February 27, 2021

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The Lakers’ game plan worked perfectly against the Blazers. They turned up the intensity in the final two quarters of the game after going into the first half trailing by three points. The Lakers ended up outscoring the Blazers 48-36 in the second half.

The Blazers only shot 38.6% from the field due to the Lakers’ aggressive defense. Moreover, Portland received only 20 free-throw attempts in the entire game, which suggests that the Los Angeles Lakers were clinical with their charges. 

Derek Fisher wants the Los Angeles Lakers to be more aggressive on defense to neutralize the absence of Anthony Davis. Can they win games by repeating the same approach in the upcoming fixtures? 

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Arjun Athreya

1729 articles

Arjun Athreya is a senior writer at Essentially Sports and has been contributing since early 2020. Having developed an avid interest in sports at an early age, he pursued a Journalism degree and graduated from Madras Christian College. Arjun manages the Golf division and its content, and primarily covers news pertaining to the NBA as well.

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