The Los Angeles Lakers are widely regarded as one of the two best teams in the NBA this year, and they’re clearly taking that distinction extremely seriously.
This week the team commenced with 5-on-5 scrimmages at training camp. The level of competition, for lack of a better word, has been intense.
There is no greater indicator of that than the fact that Carmelo Anthony was left a bloody mess on Friday after a particularly strenuous practice session where he found himself on the wrong side of Anthony Davis.
The imagery speaks for itself:
Carmelo Anthony when asked about the scratch by his left eye after the third day of training camp: “You got to ask Anthony Davis, man.” He then let out a laugh. “Just a war wound.” pic.twitter.com/u5i5W8bwl1
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) October 1, 2021
Anthony taking the entire encounter in stride speaks to how he is regarding this Lakers experience as a whole. Thus far, his attitude has been fantastic. Whereas in the past his role and scoring opportunities have been big issues for him, this year, he has turned over a new leaf.
“With this team, I kind of look at it like the USA team,” Anthony said this week.
“In a sense. There’s so much talent, you have to figure out what works together, what doesn’t work together. How it works together, how it all comes together. At this point, man, whatever we need to do, let’s do it… I can’t sit and be like ‘Oh, I want to start,’ ‘I want to come off the bench.’ Whatever it is, it is.
“I’ve had experience being a starter for 18 years. I’ve had experience coming off the bench for one year. It’s not something I think about anymore.”
Davis, for his part, seems to be taking this upcoming season very seriously as well. His body transformation over the summer has been incredible. Last year there were points where he was in such bad shape that even Draymond Green called him out for it. That won’t be a problem in 2021-22.
On paper, the Lakers have all the pieces necessary for championship success. Will they actually be able to deliver on those expectations when the time comes? An answer should emerge soon enough.
Russell Wilson stays winning. https://t.co/30J5QQ1yvQ
— Game 7 (@game7__) September 30, 2021