The Los Angeles Lakers are currently supporting life to make the play-in tournament, especially after Sunday night’s defeat to the Denver Nuggets. But the biggest game of the season is arguably the one against the New Orleans Pelicans.
To catch up with the San Antonio Spurs in 10th and at least give themselves a chance at 9th against the Pels, that game is a must-win for the Lakers. However, Anthony Davis and Co. failed to win 114-111.
The Lakers star was asked if there was any lingering animosity that could affect the game in one way or another. According to him, he does not despise anything, but also does not turn a blind eye to his former team because of the victories over him and especially the purple and gold.
Via Lakers postgame:
“Not me personally. Is it possible for them? But for me, it’s a different game. Obviously you want to win those games, but for a deeper understanding I don’t see it that way. I just try to get on the pitch and help the team win. It just so happens that it’s New Orleans. They were really excited to beat us. Their social media team does all of these things. They have dominated us this year. They have all the rights to do so. But we’re just trying to keep doing what we can, and personally, I’m not aiming for that.”
Los Angeles has bigger fish to fry than worries about the commercial rivalry that happened more than two seasons ago. It’s hard to divert attention from the Lakers’ current season disaster, and hopes that they’ll make it to the play-in in general are dwindling. The fact that even such a basic goal now looks bleak is clearly a huge burden on the shoulders of AD, LeBron James, Russell Westbrook and the rest of the team.
Still, it’s hard to take Anthony Davis’s words outright. The story that gives Anthony Davis is one that has created a steak that fans still boil over every time the two teams go head-to-head. While things don’t seem to be going so well in New Orleans, especially when it comes to their new supposed savior in Zion Williamson, the reality is that they’re one of the teams sneaking into the league on the scene. Their own unrest must have bothered him a bit.
The prospect of the Pelicans-Lakers 9 vs. 10 is particularly compelling for that reason, with Anthony Davis having to return to the place he snubbed years ago and play in front of a crowd ready to boo him. The opposite will likely be true as winning the playoffs at Smoothie King Center would probably make him feel a little sweeter.
But at the end of the day, all of that pales in comparison to the Lakers being in such dire straits in the first place. Competing with the likes of the Pelicans, the Spurs, and much less an injured Clippers team, was not what the Lakers would expect.
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