Throughout his time in L.A., Anthony Davis has been one of the more positive and optimistic players on the Lakers roster. Memorably last season, AD said the Lakers needed to simply go on a 10- to 12-game winning streak to turn things around while sitting at .500 over 20 games into the season.
That adds some perspective to his reaction to the Lakers’ loss to the Jazz on Monday. It was the third straight defeat for the Lakers after a brief two-game win streak and left the Lakers with just those pair of wins in their opening 10 games.
“Honestly, it sucks,” Davis said. “We don’t want to be 2 and 8 at all. We’ve got guys out. Pat and Lonnie didn’t play. Bron, (Schroder) is yet to play. Thomas. It sucks, for sure. You have to look at the big picture. It’s been 10 games. Still, it’s fairly early in the season. But 2 and 8 is a hard pill for me to swallow. Obviously, you can change it around.
“We have to put it together. Offense has found its rhythm but we have lost our defensive intensity and that’s what’s killing us.”
Unfortunately for the Lakers, it’s been a game of either-or with their offense and defense. Through the opening seven games of the season, which includes both of the Lakers’ wins, the team had the second-best defensive rating in the league and the worst offensive rating.
Since that win over the Pelicans, which is only a span of three games, the Lakers have had the 17th-best offensive rating, which is a drastic increase from where they were. However, their defense has plummeted to dead last in the league thanks to a pair of incredible shooting performances from the Jazz in their two matchups.
The glass-half-full approach is the Lakers have now shown, albeit in separate stints, that they can be good both offensively and defensively to varying degrees. Pairing those two together would go a long way in bringing them back closer to, and perhaps one day above, a .500 record.
But they haven’t shown an ability to do that in any sort of consistent way right now. Projecting them to do so would require a leap of faith they haven’t demonstrated they’re capable of doing yet.
It’s such a leap of faith that not even Anthony Davis, a beacon of positivity at most times, can stay optimistic about the entire situation.
It’s not a great time in Lakerland.