Lakers’ playoff hopes skyrocket after Anthony Davis notches 55-point performance

Lakers’ playoff hopes skyrocket after Anthony Davis notches 55-point performance

The Los Angeles Lakers had the worst start of any team in the NBA this season, going 0-5 in their first five games. The playoffs were far out of their sights as they would then fall to 2-10 on the season. However, the Lakers are 8-2 in their last 10 games, losing to a top-seeded Suns team and a buzzer-beater from the Indiana Pacers. The loss to the Pacers was ugly; however, the Lakers have been on a very successful stretch as of late. The question remains: Have they done enough to turn their season around?

“Star” contributions

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - DECEMBER 02: LeBron James #6, Anthony Davis #3 and Russell Westbrook #0 of the Los Angeles Lakers talk during the first half against the Milwaukee Bucks at Fiserv Forum on December 02, 2022 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

One of the biggest disappointments from the Lakers has been their “big-three” consisting of LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Russell Westbrook. While James will always be James, Davis and Westbrook have seriously stepped up their game over this eight-game stretch.

Davis is averaging 34.2 PPG, 15.4 RPG, and 2.9 BLK in his last 10 games on over 60% FG. In Westbrook’s previous 10 games, he has been averaging 12.9 PPG, 8.8 APG, and 5.2 RPG coming off the bench. Since becoming the Lakers’ sixth man, Westbrook has recorded five double-doubles and eight 18+ point games. The added contributions of these two players have tremendously impacted the Lakers.

As an individual, Davis appears to be returning to his old level of play. On Sunday night against the Wizards, Davis paired a 55-point performance with 17 rebounds and three blocks. Davis became the first Laker to record back-to-back 40-plus point performances since Kobe Bryant in 2013.

Los Angeles Lakers team success

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 04: Anthony Davis #3 and LeBron James #6 of the Los Angeles Lakers celebrate during the fourth quarter of the game against the Washington Wizards at Capital One Arena on December 04, 2022 in Washington, DC.
Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images

As a team, the Lakers have a 110.8 defensive rating over their last 10 games, which would be good for third in the league if it was their entire season rating. The Lakers have also averaged 122.6 PPG in this stretch which would be first in the NBA. Statistically, they have been one of the best teams in the league over this period.

Not only is this team good statistically, but they have become fun to watch. Westbrook hit not one but two deep buzzer-beater three-pointers in the win Wednesday night against the Trailblazers. One was from half-court, in which he waved his arms to hype up the crowd and himself.

What started as a disappointing season for the Lakers has become more fun for the fans. The Lakers are currently four games below .500 as they sit with a 10-12 record. Their next eight games will be a tough test for the Lakers as they play six teams with a record of .500 or better. If this level of play continues for the team, they will have the opportunity to go above .500 for the first time this season. Lakers fans should keep hope, as their favorite team could be in a playoff position by the end of the month.

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