Last night, the Los Angeles Lakers started their postseason campaign with a loss against the Portland Trail Blazers. The Blazers were far from their best, but the Lakers were even worse. They were struggling to score all night and the Blazers made the most out of it. One of the biggest disappointments for the lakers was Anthony Davis.
He may have finished the game with 28 points and 16 rebounds, but he shot just 8/24 from the field. He struggled from the charity stripe too, missing five out of the 17 free throws he took. Postgame, Shaquille O’Neal expressed his disappointment over AD’s performance.
“That’s not good enough,” Shaq said. “He averages 26 during the regular season. In order to be effective in the playoffs aka dominant, you gotta add 6-8 points. That’s always been the formula.”
“I need him to be aggressive and score every time. Don’t just stand out there and pick & pop. So for you to have 21 points in the first half and only end with 28, ain’t good enough. A regular person will be like 28 and 16 is pretty good. (But) not to great players standards.”
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope finished with a whopping one point after going 0-9 from the field. Danny Green’s drought continued as he went 2-8 from the field. Kyle Kuzma almost shot 30% too, going 5/14. The whole team struggled except LeBron James. But the blame will be heavier on Davis, especially since he is one of the best players in the league.
Davis needs to play tougher and be more aggressive. He can’t rely only on the free-throw line for points. Often it feels like he is hindering himself by not fully expressing himself out on the court.
As Shaq said, good players will be satisfied with that stat line. But Davis is a great player, so he will hold himself to higher standards and be back stronger next game. The Lakers go up against the Blazers again tomorrow in Game 2 of the first round of the playoffs. There is no overnight fix for shooting problems, but coach Frank Vogel will be hoping his players can step up.
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