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Anthony Davis says Pacers will be a ‘test’ for Lakers defense

Heading into the In-Season Tournament Championship game, Anthony Davis is focused on stopping the Pacers high-powered offense.

In-Season Tournament - New Orleans Pelicans v Los Angeles Lakers Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images

The Lakers have made it to the In-Season Tournament Final and will have a chance to hoist the NBA Cup if they defeat the Indiana Pacers on Saturday in Las Vegas.

Following the Lakers trouncing the New Orleans Pelicans by 40-plus points, Anthony Davis was already thinking about the challenges the Pacers could give the Lakers.

“They’re a good ball club,” Davis said. “We actually were talking about, maybe last week, that they score a lot of points…Obviously, the head of the snake is Tyrese (Haliburton) with good role players around him that complement him very well. They’re very young, they’re scrappy, they get out and run, they play the right way. It’s going to be a test of our defense, for sure. It’s going to be an exciting game.”

The Pacers are flirting with historic marks in basically all offensive categories. They are averaging a league-leading 128.4 points per game and an offensive rating of 123.5, according to NBA.com. In the semifinals versus the Milwaukee Bucks, they were down by three points heading into the fourth quarter and went on to run the Bucks out of the gym, scoring 37 points and cruising to victory 128-119.

They say the offense wins games, defense wins championships. If the Lakers want to win that half-a-million-dollar purse and the NBA Cup, they’ll have to bring a top defensive performance to Las Vegas and shut down the Haliburton-led Pacers.

The good news for Los Angeles is Davis is the defensive anchor of the team and will likely have the responsibility of defending Haliburton most of the night. Davis is not just the best defender on the team but arguably the league, so his already being aware of the potency of the Indianapolis offense and taking on the toughest assignment bodes well for Los Angeles.

If the Lakers pull off the victory and win the inaugural NBA In-Season Tournament, it’ll be interesting to see how players and fans react and how much it will mean to the NBA community at large. Regardless, don’t expect them to hoist up a banner, though. That honor is still reserved for NBA titles only.

You can follow Edwin on Twitter at @ECreates88.

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