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Anthony Davis talks Lakers’ failures, looks forward – Daily News


DENVER — When did Anthony Davis stop believing this year’s Lakers could win a title?

According to the 29-year-old forward, not until the buzzer sounded in Phoenix on Tuesday night and the Lakers were officially eliminated. Before then, Davis claimed, he still thought the team, as constructed, could have made a run at any time – even though the team still never won consecutive games since Jan. 7.

“Anything can happen in a 7-game series,” Davis said. “We really didn’t feel anyone could beat us in a 7-game series. And we really believed that.”

Davis has a way of looking at the bright side, which is why even in his exit interview – conducted Sunday night shortly before tipoff at Ball Arena – he remained protective of this year’s group despite their vast underachievement as a team.

On Frank Vogel? Didn’t get enough chances to coach his full, healthy team. On Russell Westbrook? He more blame for the failures than he deserved. On the potential of the “superteam” with him, Westbrook and LeBron James? They couldn’t tell because they were hurt.

And yet even Davis, as sunny as he can be, acknowledged that the Lakers will be going back to the drawing board this offseason: “Even when we were healthy, I don’t think we were able to reach our full potential for whatever reason.”

Davis acknowledged that he has yet to do much serious introspection on the season that just ended, his least successful campaign in L.A. so far. And as the player under contract for the furthest into the future, a lot rests on his shoulders – both in his play, and how he wants to see the team reshape itself.

Davis was asked whether he and James can still form the basis of a title team: “We’ve shown that we can. I don’t know that’s something we just have to reevaluate in the offseason, upstairs, me and him talking about this season and what we would like to see next season and kind of just figure it out.”

While Davis said he was disappointed with missing more than half of the regular season, he defended his offseason, saying he was in shape but his injuries – when Jaden McDaniels fell into his knee, and when he clipped Rudy Gobert’s foot – were largely out of his control. Doctors told him his injuries could have been worse if he hadn’t been in better condition, and he was able to return from both in season.

One of the biggest decisions of the offseason should come soon when the Lakers decide about Frank Vogel’s future. He’s the only coach Davis has ever known since coming to L.A., and they won a championship their first year together. There’s still a lot of affinity there: Davis called Vogel “one of my favorite coaches” and said he fell prey to the injuries that dogged the team.



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