As disappointing a result as Tuesday night’s loss against the Los Angeles Clippers was for the Lakers, it was hard to ignore how electric an atmosphere existed in Staples Center for the event. The players noticed the noise and fed off of it.
Still, Avery Bradley was asked about the game and, as players tend to, downplayed the idea that it meant any more than any other regular season game.
”I can’t speak for everybody else, but for me it was just a regular game, and I’m pretty sure this is how the atmosphere is every night in this building, and it was just a fun game,” he told reporters after the loss. He did credit Lakers fans, though, calling them the best fans in the world and noting the MVP chants LeBron James received during an “away” game.
Anthony Davis acknowledged the home/away dynamic after the game, too, but said he understood what both teams were getting themselves into.
“It was everything I expected. Very anticipated game and it was fun. The crowd, us being on the road, at home kind of, it was a great atmosphere,” he said.
When asked how this compared to a playoff game, Davis actually agreed about the intensity behind it.
“Definitely the first quarter felt like a playoff game. High intensity, crowd was into it. Then the game started to settle down. I think the first quarter for sure was what everyone expected,” Davis said.
Quinn Cook, when asked about the intensity Tuesday night, made it clear that this is something players should get used to, not just from fans, but the opposition.
”That’s gonna be the crowd every night. Obviously Laker fans when we have a true home game are tremendous, but when we go on the road, Laker Nation travels, and obviously we’re going to get everybody’s best shot,” Cook said. “They gave us a great shot tonight, and guys are excited about how much we can improve on.”
Jared Dudley, as he is custom to do, didn’t hold back in analyzing the circumstances under which the game was played.
“Best atmosphere I’ve had on opening day,” Dudley told reporters. “You could just feel the energy. Obviously when it comes to L.A., Bron, Kawhi, opening night had everything that you needed. I thought that we came out and set the tone early, and you can credit the Clippers, they responded.”
When asked if the Lakers have what it takes to match that kind of energy should they face it as regularly as Cook thinks, Dudley sounded optimistic.
”It’s hard to play with that type of energy, man,” he said before adding “I don’t think it’s going to be a problem. I think we’ll settle down Friday to play Utah, and you’ll see a better Laker team come out on Friday for sure.”
The Lakers and their have to hope Dudley is correct.
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