While the Lakers did not play particularly well during their winning streak, their league-leading defense will need to return during a challenging December now.
As critics believe the 17-2 Lakers had an easy start to the 2019-20 NBA season, this is a chance for them to prove doubters wrong against playoff-bound teams.
Following their first loss in almost three weeks, Davis revealed the team’s goal for his first season in Los Angeles now, according to Dave McMenamin of ESPN:
“Our whole thing is we don’t want to lose two in a row,” said Anthony Davis, who, like LeBron James, played under the weather against the Mavs. “Ever.”
When asked about Davis’ comments, James believes it is a matter of the Lakers having that mindset and approach of not wanting to lose consecutive games:
“You don’t know until you [strive for it],” James said of the goal to avoid a two-game losing streak all season, which he says the team has eyed since opening night. “Realistic is the mindset. It’s not about [accepting that] sometimes you lose games in a row. Just having that mindset and that approach.”
As Luka Doncic and the Mavericks exposed some of the team’s weaknesses without Avery Bradley, they will have a tough back-to-back situation against the Denver Nuggets and Utah Jazz. While one or two losses can be attributed to poor scheduling, Davis has the right mentality by not using it as an excuse now.
In Davis’ first season, he has established himself as the leader alongside James. While the 26-year-old’s shoulder has been an issue at times, he is playing through it and is the current favorite for the 2019-20 NBA Defensive Player of the Year award.
Although the offense has improved recently, Davis and the Lakers understand it starts on defense and they will look to regain it during their three-game road trip.