Lakers Notes: Davis, Pelinka, Schröder, Bamba

LeBron James and Stephen Curry represent the marquee matchup in the Lakers-Warriors series, but Game 1 belonged to Anthony Davis, writes Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports. Davis posted 30 points, 23 rebounds and five assists Tuesday night as L.A. picked up a road victory in the series opener. He also had five blocks and provided a deterrent to Golden State shooters on numerous other attempts.

“He’s one of the few guys that can defend laterally and vertically,” coach Darvin Ham said. “By that I mean he can get down in a stance and move his feet, keep a guard in front of him, force a tough, contested shot. I knew watching him during his days in New Orleans, watching him in the bubble, he’s an elite defender.”

Davis’ most significant number on Tuesday may have been the nearly 44 minutes that he played. He had a few days of rest after the Lakers closed out their first-round series on Friday, so Ham felt comfortable leaving him in the game longer than usual, including the entire second half.

Goodwill notes that the injuries that limited Davis to 56 games this season prevented him from making the All-Star Game and will likely keep him from earning an All-NBA spot. But when he’s healthy, Davis has always been recognized as one of the league’s best talents.

“He’s doing exactly what I anticipated him to do,” Ham said. “He’s playing like the top-five NBA player that he is.”

There’s more on the Lakers:

  • Rob Pelinka’s 11th-place finish in the Executive of the Year voting doesn’t reflect the job he did in turning the team around at midseason, states Sam Amick of The Athletic. L.A. got off to a miserable start and wasn’t able to reach .500 until the end of March, but Pelinka’s rebuilt roster now looks like it can compete with anyone in the league. “I mean, we went 2-10 to start the year,” Austin Reaves said. “Darv wrote it on the board the other day, where I think they gave us like a 0.3 percent chance of making the playoffs at that time. For us to really just keep our head down and grind through it, like you said — it’s felt like a long year. But you look up, and you’re 1-0 against the defending champs. Anybody in the world would take that scenario.”
  • Dennis Schröder made several clutch plays late in Game 1 to help the Lakers hold off a Golden State rally, per Broderick Turner of The Los Angeles Times. Schröder, who’s headed back into free agency this summer, said he’s feeling good after being slowed by an Achilles issue in the first-round series.
  • Mohamed Bamba missed Tuesday’s game with soreness in his left ankle, tweets Dave McMenamin of ESPN. The backup big man received an injection to help ease the pain before the start of the series, McMenamin adds.
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