September 26, 2020
Los Angeles Lakers
Game 5: Postgame
Los Angeles Lakers 117, Denver Nuggets 107
Q. After your moment in Game 2, what does it mean for LeBron to close out this series and show what kind of closer he is?
ANTHONY DAVIS: Yeah, he told us it was his time. They was making a push late in the third and cut it to two and we didn't really start off in the fourth quarter, didn’t close the third quarter how we wanted to and we didn't start off good in that fourth. He just took over.
He told us it was his time. He told me it was his time. You know, he kind of just -- everybody just kind of got out of the way and let him be him. He brought it home for us. He's always capable of doing that. He makes the right plays and makes the right reads, and tonight, you know, the read for him was to get to the basket and finish or make a play, and all of them were good reads and he carried us tonight to get to this point.
Q. LeBron said not only does he want to set a good example for you, but he said he doesn't want to let you down -- sorry, you don't want to let him down -- he doesn't want to let you down. How does that dynamic work?
ANTHONY DAVIS: When I first got here, he told me that, he wants to give me my first ring. And I told him, I want to get him back to the Finals. You know, last year, he didn't get there, injury. they were in fourth place when he got hurt, so who knows what could have happened, but he missed last year.
I tell him all the time, "I got your back; you got my back." Especially in games like this, you know, missed a couple shots, he takes over, and it's throughout the entire series, every playoff series we've been in, either he takes over, I take over at one point, to just kind of get the team going.
But you know, we don't want to let each other down. We know why I came here. We want to win a championship. We're four wins away, a step closer to our goal. He feels that if we don't, then you know, he let me down. I feel like if we don't, then I let him down and then it will be like, our team let the organization down. So, we don't want to have that feeling.
So any time we have to win the game, you know, or have to play a certain way where one of us needs to take over, we come up to each other and talk to each other and figure out what's the best way to do that.
Q. Doing so much in the fourth quarter, you had a three that seemed like maybe that was it for Denver. Could you sense that that was going to make the edge for them? They have been so hard to stop in these situations?
ANTHONY DAVIS: No -- it's never over with them until the horn goes off. Those guys are a hell of a team. Led by a great coaching staff and a great head coach. They come out to compete every night no matter the situation. For a team to come back from down 3-1 twice in the playoffs, I think it's never been done. You know, they are going to make you work for every win, which they did in this series with us.
For them, I think that they have got a bright future, of course. You know, their players are only going to get better, and they are going to make guys work. But it's never a time in the game where we thought it was over.
Obviously 'Bron went on a run, but they came down and I think they got it to like seven or something like that or six, and they are going to always fight. They are all going to play the right way and make the right plays and they have guys who can make big shots. It's never over with that team.
Q. There's obviously a lot of talent on the team, yourself included, but what have been your impressions of how Frank has managed this group given all the different talent, the new pieces and the unique challenges that came up throughout this season?
ANTHONY DAVIS: First off, thank you. Secondly, he's done a great job with all of us. He shoots it straight to us. You know, he wants to win. We want to win. He comes to me and 'Bron with a lot of questions and ideas of -- and we give him our opinion on certain things, but we trust him. He comes in and puts the game plan together. He spends hours and hours of watching film and breaking down games and breaking schemes down to try to figure out what's the best solution for us, what's the best recipe for us to be successful, and he puts the right players on the floor at the right time.
He trusts us, if someone has it going, then, you know, he wants to sub a guy in, a guy tells him, like let that unit roll or let that guy keep rolling. He trusts us, and that's the only thing you can ask for in a coach is to trust your players, but at the same time we have to trust him.
He's been doing a great job of managing emotions, especially when everyone’s trying to win. You want to be a part of it on the floor and I think guys have got nothing but respect for his coaching decisions on who is going to play, who is going to sit, who is coming in the game at one point. Because we know his intentions are good and his intentions are try to win, just like ours. He's done a hell of a job along with the coaching staff of making sure that we are in the position that we are now.
Q. A lot of guys have talked tonight about just the overall accountability level on this team. How unique is it to be a part of a group with that high of a level, and what's it been like for you to have to raise your own to that level?
ANTHONY DAVIS: This group's IQ level is very high. Guys hold each other accountable. It really doesn't even come from the coaches. If a player messes up, another player gets on him, no matter who it is. Dudley is really the guy who sits back and watches a lot of the games. And during the games he kind of critiques and looks at what's going on on the floor and kind of calls guys out. He called me out; he called 'Bron out, Rondo. It doesn't matter.
And when we got guys like that who want to win, who want to help, it makes it a lot easier for us, and it makes you want to go out there and play hard and do the right thing for the guys because you have a group of guys who are in it for the right reasons and who are not selfish and who just wants to win, whether you're playing or not.
This team is special, and you don't get a group of guys who are able to do things like that, or some guys on some teams are in it for selfish reasons and things like that. But this group of guys for sure only want one thing, and that's to win a championship.
You know, whatever it takes, we, as players, hold each other accountable and hold ourselves to a higher standard. You know, we may not show it on a bench yelling at each other or things like that, but we definitely have our moments where we argue and we have -- I don't think anybody saw last game, me and 'Bron kind of got into it. But it's coming from the right place, and we got guys like that who hold each other accountable and just want to win. It makes it fun and you know that guys are in it for the right reasons.
Q. I was going to ask you about the job that Frank's done over the whole season but since you already answered that, how have you seen it with him in these series defensively scheme up and adjust and what has that done?
ANTHONY DAVIS: He's been great. He's always, as he calls it, changing up the pitches. We never give a steady diet of what we are doing on defense. We change it up and give different looks, throw different looks out there and he's a defensive-minded coach and all about defensive rating and making sure our defense is better and better every game.
It shows, you know, we are a defensive team. When we get after on the defensive end, we are tough to beat. He's been able to throw different schemes out there for us and make sure that we understand those schemes.
We watched a tone of film, like I said, and he breaks it down for us in the simplest form to make it easy for us, and when we go over it. And if guys are confused or don't really like it, he listens to our input because we are the ones on the floor, and we change is.
So he's done a great job of putting these schemes together with assistant coaches and challenging us to do these schemes, but at the same time listen to us because we are the ones that's on the floor. He wants to make it as comfortable as possible to get the job done.
Q. I think you were 15 when Stepbrothers came out. LeBron said that he was the Will Farrell character, which would make you John C. Reilly. Not sure if you want to comment on that and how it reflects your relationship?
ANTHONY DAVIS: I'm fine with that. You know, it's actually -- it's a great movie, by the way.
But yeah, I mean, we're kind of like Stepbrothers. Me and him are very close. He could be Will Farrell. Actually -- but he leads the team. He actually is Will Farrell. He leads the team. He's in charge of the group. He's been here several times, and I'm the guy that comes in and try to fit in and doing it my own way until he comes in and get everything together for us and make us one.
So he's a great guy to be along with, and if he wants to be Will Farrell, then that's fine, but as long as he gives me four more wins, then, you know, I'll be cool with that.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports