Anthony Davis: Lakers ‘Very Confident’ amid Winning Streak Entering 2024 NBA Playoffs

April 7, 2024

It once seemed inevitable that the Los Angeles Lakers would start their postseason journey with the high-pressure elimination stakes of the play-in tournament game between the Nos. 9 and 10 seeds, but that is no longer the case.Los Angeles moved into the Western Conference’s No. 8 seed with a 116-97 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday, which was its fourth in a row and ninth in the last 10 games.”We’re very confident in our ballclub,” Anthony Davis said, per ESPN’s Dave McMenamin. “We laugh about, like, ‘Oh, winning nine out of 10,’ and we haven’t went anywhere [in the standings]. So, it’s how good the West is. But we’re confident, very confident in our ballclub and any time we step on the floor.”The big man played with confidence Saturday and finished with 22 points, 13 rebounds, six blocks, four assists and three steals.LeBron James also notched a double-double of 24 points and 12 assists, while D’Angelo Russell led the team with 28 points on 11-of-17 shooting from the field and 6-of-12 shooting from deep.Russell has averaged 23.7 points while shooting 54 percent from the field and 47.2 percent from three-point range through three April games and can open up the floor for the Purple and Gold as another go-to scorer if he continues to play at a high level.”I think the biggest difference is just that we’re just having fun,” Davis said. “We’re holding each other accountable. If somebody messes up we’re yelling, screaming at him. But nobody is taking it personal. Because we all know what we’re here for, to try to win. So we’re having fun, we’re having a great time out there playing basketball, and we’re staying together.”The Lakers are just a half-game ahead of the Sacramento Kings, although they are also just a half-game behind the New Orleans Pelicans for the No. 7 seed.The winner of the game between the Nos. 7 and 8 seeds clinches the No. 7 seed, while the loser faces the winner of the game between the Nos. 9 and 10 seeds for the No. 8 seed. Finishing in at least eighth means Los Angeles will have two opportunities to win a play-in tournament game to reach the playoffs.It faces the Minnesota Timberwolves, Golden State Warriors, Memphis Grizzlies and Pelicans to finish the regular season.