‘Gonna Need That’: LeBron James Praises Lakers Teammates For Stepping Up In Anthony Davis’ Absence

Published 02/17/2021, 12:20 AM EST
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

The Los Angeles Lakers returned to winning ways tonight with a victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves. The absence of Anthony Davis wasn’t felt after a combined team effort helped the Lakers win by eight points.


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Their new arrivals, Dennis Schroder, Montrezl Harrell, Wesley Matthews, and Marc Gasol, stepped up and had crucial contributions tonight. Their efforts impressed team captain LeBron James, who praised them later.

During the post-game interview, LeBron said, “To have the production that we had tonight from our group, Dennis, Trez, Wes, Marc, they were huge for us. We went out in the off-season and got really good pieces, and tonight was an example of that. Having one of our biggest pieces out, everyone came in and chipped in a little bit more. We’re gonna need that throughout the stretch.”


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"Having one our biggest pieces out, everyone came in and chipped in a little bit more." LeBron James (30 PTS, 13 REB, 7 AST) chats post-game with @LakersReporter about the team's focus without AD on the floor. pic.twitter.com/6fNsKlV3R9

— Spectrum SportsNet (@SpectrumSN) February 17, 2021

Schroder had 24 points, Harrell had 17 points, and Gasol had 11 points, which included three crucial three-pointers. Matthews just had three points but was everywhere on defense.

Coach Frank Vogel also impressed with the Lakers’ new arrivals

Not having a player of Davis’ caliber is a huge jolt to any team. He is their second-best player and is their pillar on defense. But the rest of the team filled in perfectly in his absence, which left coach Frank Vogel impressed.

“I like what we have to go to war with. We have a lot of guys on this roster that I believe in,” Vogel said after the game.

Dec 22, 2020; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers coach Frank Vogel (left) talks with referee Eric Dalen (37) in the second half against the LA Clippers at Staples Center. The Clippers defeated the Lakers. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

While there was a healthy contribution from multiple players, it was LeBron who led the team. He had 30 points, 13 rebounds, and seven assists, and led the team in each of those categories. His leadership is also a vital factor in the Lakers’ wins. He steps up on both ends when the team needs him and makes the money plays.

Bron’s crucial go-ahead shots are often highlighted, but tonight one of his most clutch plays was a charge he took late in the fourth quarter. The Timberwolves were slowly gaining momentum, and if not for the charge, they would have closed in and possibly won or sent the game to overtime.


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LeBron steps in to take the clutch charge late in the 4th! pic.twitter.com/Xc1olLWjTA

— NBA (@NBA) February 17, 2021

But LeBron saved the day, as he helped the Lakers gain momentum before their huge clash against the Nets on Thursday.


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Aaron Mathew

1462 articles

Aaron Mathew is a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. A graduate in Mass Media from Xavier’s College, Aaron has been a part of EssentiallySports since May 2020 where he covers both NBA and NCAA basketball news, and has also covered NBA 2K. In the past, Aaron has worked at the Sports Desk of Mumbai Mirror.