If Anthony Davis keeps up strong play, Lakers can go higher than a play-in game | Locked On Lakers

Anthony Davis is stepping up in LeBron James’ absence, suddenly leading the Lakers into the playoff conversation.

LOS ANGELES — After a 112-103 win over Memphis on Tuesday night, the Lakers moved to 32-34 and jumped to ninth in the Western Conference standings and a spot in the play-in tournament.

In a postgame edition of the Locked On Lakers podcast, hosts Brian and Andy Kamenetzky were joined by Harrison Faigen to discuss how Anthony Davis has raised the level of a Lakers team that was already playing well post-trade deadline.

“They have been legitimately moving in the right direction ever since they’ve had this new-look roster, even without all of these guys presently accounted for,” Andy Kamenetzky said. “Every single win has not been pretty and I’m not ready to say once they’re in the playoffs they’re going to knock off everyone, but this is a legitimate roster.”

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The Lakers are 7-3 since the first game after the trade deadline, and are within two games of the fifth seed in the West if they continue their winning ways.

“What I like about these plays is they reflect a team that genuinely thinks that they’re good, and they’re confident,” Brian Kamentezky said. “If they are going to move their way up, if they’re gonna stay firmly in that top 10 … they are going to have to have a level of self-confidence that slightly exceeds what they have on paper. And at the very least, the results are allowing them to have that.”

Davis has led the way for the Lakers, and he had 30 points and 22 rebounds leading to a team-best +24 in the box score in the win over Memphis. While Los Angeles turned the ball over 13 times and 

“When you have AD playing like this and looking like this much of a threat,” Harrison Faigen said, “I think everybody feels better when you’re sort of going to war with a guy like that.”

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