Anthony Davis, after the Lakers team meeting – Focus on ‘trying to improve’

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. — A day before the Los Angeles Lakers won over the Brooklyn Nets — Los Angeles’ third victory in 13 games played this season — the team held a game-changing movie screening on Saturday. It’s not so much what was seen, but what was said that had an impact, according to Lakers executives.

“We had conversations that a team that was 2-10 should have, you know?” Anthony Davis said Wednesday after practice. “About what each player can do better, what we were going to do better collectively. Coaching staff. Medical staff. Everyone. We just wanted to figure this thing out before Brooklyn game day. And that has worked for us.”

Lakers first-year coach Darvin Ham said it was an open forum with many voices involved, ranging from players like james lebron, Russell Westbrook, Patrick Beverly and Davis, to himself, Phil Handy and Chris Jent on the coaching staff.

“Everyone pitches in,” Ham said. “No idea is a bad idea. The only bad idea is to have no idea. How can we be better, how can we be a better basketball group.

They certainly looked better against the Nets. On the offensive end, Davis contributed to season highs in points (37) and offensive rebounds (10) and the team shot 40.7% on 3, while defensively the Lakers held the Nets to 45% overall (25.9% from 3) and allowed just 103 points, tying their season low for an opponent.

“A lot of emotions,” Davis said when asked to describe the encounter. “Guys voice their opinions. Some come and go. But it was for nature to try to improve. So while maybe it was back and forth, it was, ‘OK , I hear what you’re saying , you hear what I’m saying. So now what’s the solution?” Instead of constantly banging their heads. So it was a good dialogue.

Ham said there’s a balance to be struck when emotions come into play.

“I think you have to be careful because passion can turn into emotion,” Ham said. “You want to be passionate. You don’t want to be emotional.”

Westbrook, whose decision-making in the Lakers’ loss to the Sacramento Kings was mentioned by Davis the day before the game in the big man’s postgame comments, also spoke about how beneficial the game was.

“I think things are moving in the right direction,” Westbrook said. “That’s all you can ask for.”

Beverley spoke for the first time about the Nets’ post-game movie session with Lakers television partner Spectrum SportsNet.

“You have to give LeBron a lot of credit,” Beverley said. “He started attacking guys in the right way and the guys in the dressing room reacted. So recognize his leadership.”

Davis said Beverley’s leadership style has been a fit for the team, but comes with sage advice even when the packaging isn’t perfect.

“You have to listen, you can’t hear what they say, you have to listen to what they say,” Davis said. “You can not [think], ‘Oh he’s screaming, so now I’m gonna get shut down.’ … When someone tries to help you, we know we’re all there for one purpose and that’s to win. It is therefore necessary to take the message and not the tone of the person’s voice.

“The main guy that a lot of us had to get used to for this was Pat. But he gives great messages. And he said this thing one time, he was like, ‘If I scream I LOVE YOU, you won’t get mad, you know what I mean? So listen to the message, not the tone.”

The Lakers, still second-to-last in the Western Conference, may have an opportunity to pull themselves out of their early hole in the coming season. They host the Detroit Pistons 3-12 on Friday in their first game since the Nets won after a five-day gap Ham split between practice and his players’ rest time. After that, they face the San Antonio Spurs, who are currently 6-9, three times in four games.

Both Denis Schroder and Thomas Bryant are considered likely to make their season debut against the Pistons, according to Ham. The two underwent full training on Wednesday for the first time since both had to undergo thumb surgery during pre-season.

“Incredible,” Davis said of their pair’s contributions during the team’s intrasquad scrimmage on Wednesday. “They both played very well today.”

And James, who has missed the last two games with a strained left groin, took part in the non-contact portion of practice and is considered daily ahead of Friday.

Of course, Saturday’s air-it-out session will go down as simple conversation if the Lakers can’t pull it off with the upcoming schedule.

“Guy morale is good,” Davis said. “Like, we want to put together a winning streak.”

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