West Notes: Lakers, Anthony Davis, Blazers, Kings


Coach Darvin Ham suggested that center/forward Anthony Davis is at the top of his game these days. And the timing is great, given that star forward LeBron James (foot) is out for at least another two weeks.

“First and foremost, he’s playing pain-free in a really great rhythm,” Ham said of Davis, via Matt Peralta of Lakers Nation. “We have some really great pieces around him with some guys that he can really play off of at a high level. He’s smiling, he’s fighting through a lot, getting hits to the face, to the arm, scratches, everything. He’s battling through it all and I just feel like, I see it, he’s in a great place right now.”

Davis added he is indeed in a good place.

“Very comfortable. Confident as always. It’s good seeing the ball go through,’ he said, via Peralta. “I’m just trying to do my part. Just being a little bit more aggressive. I’m also trying to make the right plays for our guys, which is going to open up the floor even more for me.”

  • Meanwhile, Ham is encouraging forward Rui Hachimura to be more physical in the absence of James. “I’m really pleased with the way he’s played up until this point. I’ve always encouraged him to just be more aggressive and be more physical,” Ham said, via Joseph Chapa of Lakers Nation.

Trail Blazers

Star guard Damian Lillard scored 31 points in a road win over the Pistons on Monday, but it was his 13 rebounds that seemed to impress Trail Blazers coach Chauncey Billups.

“We are kind of small and we need him in there right now,” Billups told reporters. “He’s going to fight with the big guys. He’s prepared to do whatever it takes.”

Lillard’s previous season-high in rebounds was 10. He also passed for 12 assists vs. the Pistons for his second triple-double of the season.

  • Billups is one of the most legendary players in recent Pistons history, winning a title with the 2004 team. He received loud applause from the Detroit crowd. “Even though this is not the building I played in, it’s still home,” Billups said. “Even though this is not the building I played in, it’s still home. It’s always fun no matter what.”


The Kings are determined to not only make the playoffs for the first time since 2006, but to earn home-court advantage in the first round. Right now, they’re the third seed in the Western Conference.

“We want to play our first (playoff) game at home,” rookie forward Keegan Murray said. “It’s not easy, we know we have a lot of tough stretches coming up… we know we have to be locked in every single night.”

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