‘Where’s the Defensive Intensity?’: Stephen A. Smith Points Out What is Missing From the LA Lakers in Absence of Anthony Davis

Published 02/25/2021, 1:23 PM EST
Feb 8, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) reacts against the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports


Tonight, the Los Angeles Lakers and the Utah Jazz faced off in a highly anticipated game. However, to everyone’s surprise, the game was very one-sided. Utah completely overpowered the purple and gold in an easy victory.

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Following this embarrassing defeat, the Lakers have now lost 4 consecutive games and 5 in their last 6 matchups. The absence of Anthony Davis was quite evident tonight as the Utah Jazz scored at will.
The game ended with a score of 114-89 in favor of Utah as they continue their phenomenal form this season. After this game, LA needs to re-evaluate themselves and figure out a way to win a few games.

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They might need to try out a few different lineups and rotations until their star forward, Anthony Davis, returns.

Stephen A. Smith talks about the Los Angeles Lakers

NBA analyst Stephen A. Smith discussed the reigning champions’ poor form over the last few games. He further talked about whether the Lakers should be given a pass for these losses due to numerous injury troubles.
Smith said, “For me personally, I’m not giving the Lakers a pass. Not based off what I saw last night.” Stephen A. explained his point and blamed the players for not showing enough intensity on the floor.
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Jan 13, 2021; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) high fives guard Dennis Schroder (17) and center Marc Gasol (14) during a time out against the Oklahoma City Thunder in the second half at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports
Just because Anthony Davis and Dennis Schroder are not there, it doesn’t mean you are supposed to forget how to play defense. … Where’s the defensive intensity? Where’s the pride?
“And I’m not talking about LeBron James, I’m not talking about him at all. Because the man shows up. … I’m looking at everybody else in between. … Defense for the most part is about effort.”

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Smith believes the team should put in more effort and support their leader in LeBron James. “I’m going to blame one or two things: I’m going to blame effort or I’m going to blame Rob Pelinka.”
Without Dwight Howard and JaVale McGee, the team relies on AD to provide rim protection. However, since he is injured, there is nobody else that can efficiently be a rim protector for the team.

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Do you believe the team made a mistake by letting those big guys go? Let us know your views in the comments section down below.

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Aikansh Chaudhary

771 articles

Aikansh Chaudhary is an NBA columnist for Essentially Sports. Previously, he helped rank various websites using the latest SEO techniques, and wrote over 2000 articles during his stint as a freelance writer. A die hard Lakers fan, Aikansh will forever uphold LeBron James as the GOAT.

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