For much of this season, Anthony Davis has been the driving force for the Lakers. As bad as the season has gone, AD has kept the team afloat and the overwhelming sentiment has been that this team would be significantly worse if not for his heroics.
That makes Saturday’s result a hard one to swallow. With LeBron James out, the rest of the Lakers — led by D’Angelo Russell — stepped up in a big way against a surging Utah Jazz side. Davis, though, struggled mightily.
Even on a night when he recorded the second triple-double of his career, Davis’ 5-21 shooting had the bigger impact on the game with the Lakers suffering a narrow 132-125 defeat. After the game, Davis placed the blame on himself for the loss.
“Our guys, I mean, at the end, still did their job,” AD said. “Everyone did their job except me. I didn’t do my job. Obviously, Bron’s out, everyone has to step up and those guys did except myself. So this one’s on me.”
It’s a tough pill to swallow on the night because even an average shooting performance from Davis sees the Lakers win this one. Even a below-average night probably is enough to make this one a victory.
Perhaps minorly concerning is this is the second consecutive poor outing from AD. The whole team was bad against the Suns on Thursday, but most of them responded positively against the Jazz while Davis did not.
It’s been one of the only stretches of back-to-back poor showings from Davis this season and certainly the only one over recent weeks. The same message from Thursday applies in that if anyone should be given a pass for a bad showing or two, it’d be Davis, at least in a vacuum.
Saturday stings because of how winnable the game was, but the annoyance should probably be on how this team has played to get to this point in the season and less on Davis specifically for that game.
Now, if this becomes a trend, then that could shift. So, for many reasons, here’s to AD having a huge bounceback game back home on Monday against the Thunder, a team tailor-made for him to have a big showing.
You can follow Jacob on Twitter at @JacobRude.