Getty Anthony Davis, Lakers
On Friday, after the Houston Rockets walloped the Orlando Magic by 42 points, center Christian Wood began to peek forward at the upcoming schedule. And he saw that he team had two big games ahead, both against the Lakers in Houston. Wood knew what that meant: He’d be getting a head-to-head showdown against Lakers star Anthony Davis.
Excited by the prospect, Wood told reporters that night, “There’s a few games that I’ve circled on the calendar, to go into these games. Playing against him and the Lakers, it’s definitely a game I circled. It’s a guy I’ve watched previously, a majority of his moves. Me, in my head, it’s going to be a fun matchup, and I’m going to go at him with everything I got.”
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Wood did well in the initial showing, though it was an easy Lakers win. He scored 23 points on 10-for-20 shooting. Davis was better, though, dominating in only 30 minutes of play with 27 points on 9-for-12 shooting.
Christian Wood said he had this game circled against Anthony Davis. AD is now 7-7 to start the game🤣pic.twitter.com/iQkhC56s7m
— Laker Highlight (@LakerHighlight) January 11, 2021
After the game, Davis was asked about Wood’s comments, which were painted, in some corners, as trash-talk by an up-and-comer.
“I just go out there and play basketball,” Davis said. “I don’t think it was anything crazy.”
Davis and Christian Wood Played Together in New Orleans
Wood, Davis pointed out, was a teammate of his with the Pelicans, briefly, in 2019. Wood only appeared in eight games, but was with the team for about a month. That helps explain why Wood would circle games against Davis in particular.
“I know C-Wood, we played in New Orleans together,” Davis said. “He’s a guy who always kind of leaned on my for help in the league and working with him while I was in New Orleans on some moves and stuff. Obviously, I heard it, heard about it, I didn’t know if was true or not but I didn’t look at it in no type of way. I just went out there and played basketball, to be honest.”
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Wood, who is 25, is in the midst of a breakout year after signing a sizable contract with the Rockets this offseason. Wood averaged 13.1 points and 6.1 rebounds in Detroit last season, finally converting some of the potential he had coming out of college into actual production. Houston rewarded him with a three-year, $41 million contract, getting Wood in a sign-and-trade.
This season, Wood is averaging 23.3 points and 9.3 rebounds.
Anthony Davis Returns Focus to Lakers’ Defense
While shrugging off the chatter around Wood, Davis returned the focus to the way the Lakers’ defense has played—which is to say, poorly. That is, until they went to Houston for the Sunday night game. The Lakers held the Rockets to 41.1% shooting and 29.3% 3-point shooting, easily their best defensive effort in more than a week.
Last Thursday after a loss to the Spurs, Davis publicly called out the team’s defense in his postgame meeting with the media.
“It was holding myself accountable mainly but also the team,” Davis said. “We got a lot of guys who’s really good defensively and we know how good we can be, we know how good we want to be and it wasn’t showing in the previous games. Tonight, we came out very aggressive defensively, I think 13 blocks, eight steals, (it was actually 13 steals, eight blocks) something like that. Being more active with our hands, being more active with our bodies.”
The Lakers will try it again on Tuesday against the Rockets. Presumably, Wood still has it circled.
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