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Lakers vs. Suns Preview: It’s time to walk the walk

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The Lakers have done enough talking.

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2021 NBA Playoffs - Los Angeles Lakers v Phoenix Suns Photo by Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images

Anthony Davis wants to play in Game 6, and it’s safe to assume the Los Angeles Lakers would be happy to have him for what will be their first elimination game since 2013. But LeBron James doesn’t want to think about whether or not Davis is going to play on Thursday; he only wants to think about his opponent, the Phoenix Suns.

“My mindset is that he’s not going to be able to play in Game 6,” James said after the Lakers’ 30-point loss on Thursday. “That’s my mindset, I have to go in with that ... My mindset is as if AD won’t be in the game in Game 6, and if something changes then we’ll go from there, but I’m preparing as if he’s not.”

The problem is that James had that same mentality before Game 5 and the Lakers still lost by 30 points. He and his teammates knew that they’d have to step up with Davis out; they said they were prepared for that challenge; and the Suns thoroughly outplayed them for four quarters.

The truth is that nothing the Lakers say before Game 6 should matter to anyone after the way they played on Tuesday. It also doesn’t matter what LeBron James has done in elimination games up to this point.

It’s simple: the Lakers either play with a sense of desperation in Game 6 or they don’t; they either make their shots or they don’t; they either win the game or they don’t. The time for talking is over.

The Lakers and Suns will tip-off at 7:30 p.m. PT, and the game will be broadcast nationally on TNT.

Notes and Updates

  • Anthony Davis (left groin strain) and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (left knee contusion) are questionable for Game 6.
  • Davis wants to play on Thursday but he’s yet to be medically cleared by team doctors to resume basketball activities.

For more Lakers talk, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts. You can follow this author on Twitter at @RadRivas.